It is time for the ANC government to take our water crisis seriously

Issued by Leon Basson MP – DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation
04 Nov 2022 in News

On Wednesday, the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo, admitted that the ANC has neglected to invest in water resource infrastructure since coming into government in 1994.

This comes on the back of Gauteng suffering from one of its worst water crises in years – to the point of it almost becoming a human rights crisis.

Metropolitans such as Tshwane and Ekurhuleni have had major water shortages during the course of this year, with water restrictions being imposed on the residents by Rand Water since September.

However, the biggest issue was not a lack of water, but rather the infrastructure itself which prevented water from reaching the residents.

The Deputy Minister again confirmed the neglect on infrastructure by admitting that as much as 42% of water, on average, is lost between the source and the tap due to the terrible piping systems and related infrastructure. This, coupled with the ANC’s failure to ensure stable electricity generation at Eskom means that many of the pump stations are unable to pump water through the pipes to the metros’ residents.

With South Africa’s water quality being rated as “below average”, and with some water infrastructure being over 100 years old, it is time the ANC National Government take the water crisis in this country seriously.

The National Department of Water and Sanitation, in conjunction with National Treasury, needs to sit down with these metros and find solutions to fix the aging infrastructure, with the help of the private sector as the ANC government does not have the funding available due to continuous bailouts of SOEs like Eskom and SAA as well as the interest charges on all the loans the government has taken out.

If the aging infrastructure is not dealt with in the foreseeable future, it will not just be the residents of  Tshwane, Johannesburg or Ekurhuleni that are left without water, it will be an entire country.

This is a matter of grave national importance and as such, the Democratic Alliance has written to the Speaker of Parliament to request that an urgent Debate of National Importance takes place in the National Assembly to get the ball rolling so that citizens of South Africa are not left without water again in the future.