Reintroduction of water programmes welcomed – Leon Basson

DA MP says restoration of Blue and Green Drop programmes will restore trust of general public in quality of tap water

DA welcomes the reintroduction of the Blue and Green Drop water programmes

8 July 2021

The DA welcomes the announcement by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) that it will reinstate the Blue and Green Drop programmes. These programmes have been designed to help improve the quality of water and water management by monitoring and evaluating the water quality of a municipality.

The restoration of these programmes will go a long way in restoring the trust of the general public in the quality of tap water in various municipalities.

It should be noted, however, that the Presidency had first indicated the government’s commitment of restoring the programmes at the beginning of the year, but there are still no definitive timelines for implementation.

The DA, therefore, urges the department to immediately provide timelines for when these programmes will be instituted.

There hasn’t been Blue and Green Drop reports since 2014 and recent DA oversights have indicated that things have deteriorated exponentially since then. According to the 2014 Blue Drop report, 1009 water purification plants in the country were assessed of which only 32% produced excellent drinking water. The 2014 Green Drop report assessed 824 wastewater treatment plants. The report found that 84% of plants were in Critical Risk, High Risk or Medium Risk with only 16% of these plants in Low Risk.

The water crisis in municipalities across South Africa reflect government failure at its most basic level. It is the responsibility of municipalities to safeguard water infrastructure and the maintenance thereof can never be overstated, we hope that the DWS will provide local governments with the needed support to effectively implement the programmes.

The DA will be monitoring the rollout of the Blue and Green Drop programmes and will hold the DWS and municipalities that are tasked with carrying out the programmes accountable. Where the DA governs, our governments conduct regular testing of water quality to ensure every municipality retains Blue drop status

Issued by Leon Basson, DA Shadow Minister for Water and Sanitation, 8 July 2021