DA welcomes Water Master Plan for KwaZulu-Natal
11 January 2021
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the presentation of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Water Master Plan to the province’s Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) portfolio committee, but cautions government not to be complacent in responding to the identified challenges.
Water is essential to life, health, food security and our economy. Local and district municipalities play a crucial role in ensure that infrastructure is maintained and that planning and budgeting takes places. More importantly, municipalities must find better ways to increase revenue collection from those who can pay but do not.
The master plan reveals a number of concerning issues which the DA believes must be urgently addressed to avoid a catastrophe of epic proportions. These include;
- Only two out of 14 KZN municipalities are meeting the required budget allocation of 8% for maintenance
- More than R5,6 billion is required to intervene in the maintenance issues affecting water infrastructure in the province
- R100 billion is required to fully meet the water needs (current and projected) for water in KZN
- 40% of infrastructure requires intervention within the next two years
- Most municipalities are listed as having extreme or high water vulnerability
- Water losses are very high with some entities recording 77% water losses and;
- In general, municipalities are not exhibiting sustainable governance practices with a high reliance on external funding and low collection rates.
We have already seen the devastating effects that poor water management can have, through the ongoing Ugu water crises. This situation must be stopped from repeating itself across our province.
The DA believes that by ensuring good governance, accountability and consequence management, a future water crisis can be averted. Funding must be made available to achieve the Master Plan and legislation must be amended to make local and district municipalities more responsive to the demands of the Master Plan.
The DA will be monitoring the implementation of the plan and will be holding those responsible for its implementation to account.
Issued by Chris Pappas, DA KZN Spokesperson on CoGTA, 11 January 2021