Draft Bill on new Water Infrastructure Agency will create yet another SOE monster

Issued by Nicholas Myburgh MP – DA Member of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation
07 Nov 2023 in News

The DA has noted with great concern the government’s determination to create yet another loss-making SOE, especially given the dismal record of SOEs under ANC control.

The purpose of the National Water Resource Infrastructure Agency (NWRIA) draft bill, Gazetted on 16 September 2023, is the establishment of yet another fully state-owned company, or SOE, this time to administer, operate, and fund all infrastructure related to national water resources.

It makes provision for the comprehensive transfer of assets from the Department of Water & Sanitation (DWS) to the new Agency, including taking control of the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and all its assets.

Unsurprisingly, all Board members, including the Chair and CEO will be appointed by the Minister, no doubt following the same sordid script the public has become accustomed to in relation to the failed SOEs under ANC control.

The Department and the Minister have thus far been unable to furnish the country with a single credible argument as to why the creation of yet another SOE with massive resources at its disposal, will not slide down the same slippery slope of corruption, mismanagement, and the squandering of taxpayers’ money that we have all witnessed for decades.

South Africans are all too aware that the ANC abuses every opportunity to loot, steal, and misappropriate state resources for the benefit of a select few cadres.

In the wake of the ANC’s refusal to discontinue cadre deployment, and in the absence of zero convictions for the massive corruption and theft of billions of Rands under their watch, the DA wishes to place on record our strongest rejection of the NWRIA draft bill and will do everything in our power to prevent its adoption by Parliament.

We call on the government to withdraw the draft bill and instead start an urgent and structured engagement with all stakeholders, including the private sector, aimed at finding solutions to the country’s looming water crisis.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at check.da.org.za