The Department of Water and Sanitation says it will fully support the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government in all its efforts and interventions to ensure that everyone has access to clean water in the province.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department said that it welcomes the ongoing and consistent efforts made by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, under the leadership of Premier Sihle Zikalala to alleviate water challenges still experienced in some parts of the province.
“As a department, we welcome the great strides being undertaken to ensure long-term interventions are put in place to address water security in the province,” departmental Spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said.
Premier Zikalala officially launched the province’s Water Master Plan and Borehole Intervention Programme on Tuesday.
“The launch is timely as the province’s dam levels are declining on a weekly basis. A weekly status of reservoirs report issued early this week has shown a decline from last week’s 66.5% to 66.3%,” Ratau said.
Admitting that the drop is minimal, Ratau maintained that given the extreme and unpredictable weather patterns experienced in many parts of the country because of the effects of drought, dam levels can take any turn.
“Our hydrologists are telling us that we must expect the unexpected this rainy summer season. Dams can further decline or fill up to the maximum. It is for this reason that we should not let any drop of water go to waste. Hence we say the intervention by the KwaZulu-Natal government is timely,” Ratau said.
The Provincial Water Master Plan and Borehole Intervention Programme was launched in the Harry Gwala District Municipality and aims to improve access to safe and clean running water in rural communities.
Ratau said that the plan is impressive as it outlines KwaZulu-Natal’s water-related challenges and most importantly, it has the necessary framework, which spells out the short, medium and long-term solutions that are required to address the backlogs.
Meanwhile, he said the Department of Water and Sanitation is prioritising the completion of ongoing bulk water projects while also ensuring that others are upgraded to increase their capacity.
One of the department’s successful project upgrade is the Lower Thukela Water Treatment Works, which was commissioned in September 2017.
“The water treatment works produces 34 million litres per day and is one of the biggest bulk potable water infrastructure in the province. The plant abstracts raw water from the Tugela River, which is then processed and stored at a 30 megalitres reservoir. The reservoir supplies potable water to about 28 000 households and approximately 140 000 people in iLembe District Municipality,” Ratau said.
The department has urged residents to continue using water sparingly as most of the province’s dams are minimally declining.
Source: South African Government News Agency