Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister, Thoko Didiza, has led a multi-disciplinary team meeting with stakeholders from uMkhanyakude District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal to discuss water challenges in the agriculture sector.
The meeting, held on Sunday, included Amakhosi and councillors. The multi-disciplinary team includes the Departments of Water and Sanitation; Agriculture, Land and Rural Development; KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs; uMkhanyakude District and Mhlathuze Water.
It was also used as a platform to give an update on government’s interventions to ensure water provision for sustainable livelihoods.
“In consultation with my counterpart responsible for Water and Sanitation, Minister Senzo Mchunu, we agreed that at the same time as we focus on overcoming the domestic water challenges of this region, we also need to ensure that there is sufficient water to drive agriculture,” Didiza said.
She said the consistent outcry from the community of uMkhanyakude is the dearth of access to water for emerging farmers.
In this regard, Didiza said, senior officials from Water and Sanitation, and Agriculture, Land and Rural Development Departments have been tasked with working with the newly established Lower Pongola District Water User Association and Infrastructure to overcome the region’s water challenge and ensure equitable access to water.
The Water User Association consists of various stakeholders drawn from civil society.
The Department of Water and Sanitation recently appointed Mhlathuze Water to act as the implementing agent under section 63 of the Water Services Act.
Under the directive, Mhlathuze Water has already begun working with the uMkhanyakude District Municipality to improve water infrastructure in the district.
Source: South African Government News Agency