Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Sunday called on all municipalities to prioritise maintenance of water and sanitation infrastructure to prevent pollution of dams and rivers.
In a statement issued after a briefing by water and sanitation department acting director general Squire Mahlangu on the water shortage in Mahikeng in the North West, Sisulu said she had directed Mahlangu to submit a national report on the state of water and sanitation infrastructure and the maintenance programme by municipalities.
“We want to understand the state of our water and sanitation infrastructure; we want to work with municipalities to ensure that there is ongoing maintenance and modernisation of infrastructure to avoid pollution,” she said.
Sisulu also directed the acting DG to submit a report on funding allocated to municipalities and expenditure trends, to discuss with premiers and mayors.
“The department of human settlements, water and sanitation must grow capacity to monitor all our sources of water, dams and rivers, focusing on maintenance and prevention of pollution; modern technology and a strong inspectorate should be able to assist us,” she said.
On the current Mahikeng water situation, Sisulu had directed Deputy Minister David Mahlobo to lead a team to come up with urgent measures to address the water disruption in the area.
She also received an update on the work of humanitarian charity Gift of the Givers in assisting the Amathole district municipality to address its water shortage with new boreholes.
“I am happy that all the challenges have been resolved and Gift of the Givers and the municipality have started providing new boreholes, as water is important for daily use. Going forward we will have to work with the municipality on a long-term plan of water management, maintenance, and modernisation of the infrastructure, but we have started,” Sisulu said.