MEDIA BRIEFING STATEMENT BY PREMIER BUSHY MAAPE ON WATER CHALLENGES IN THE NORTH WEST PROVINCE
Over the past week the North West Province has experienced an escalation in challenges relating to the provision of water in certain areas of the province. We recognize the impact that this has had on a number of communities, within the context that water is a basic right which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. We wish to indicate that government is addressing this issue head on and has taken a number of steps to ensure that all residents of the province have access to water, both in the short term and in the longer term.
Yesterday (Sunday) we convened a special meeting of the Inter-Departmental Water Task Team which comprises provincial departments, the National Department of Water and Sanitation, Water Boards, and all municipalities in the province. This Task Team, which will serve as a War Room on Water, will ensure that we act in the spirit of cooperative governance in tackling the issues of water provision in the province. We are one government and we wish to ensure that the people of our province are able to experience the provision of services in a seamless manner.
Today we are joined by the Hon David Mahlobo, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, who made this visit to the province in order to provide leadership from the national department in tackling issues of water provision together with the Provincial Government and all other role players.
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Our approach as this government collective is firstly to ensure in the short term that there is no community in any part of the province without immediate access to clean water. In a number of instances this will mean the provision of water through water tankering. We do not see this as a long term solution but rather as a short term intervention while the necessary longer term sustainable provision of water is put in place. We recognize that there are a number of problems with water tankering and that this is a water supply mechanism of last resort.
A second element of our approach is to ensure that the existing infrastructure is maintained and is utilized to it’s full potential, while recognizing that in certain areas new infrastructure programmes are currently being implemented, particularly in the area of bulk water supply. We are committed to ensuring that the current infrastructure for water provision is performing optimally and is well maintained and effectively operated.
While we are addressing the need for immediate access to water, we are at the same time reviewing our plans towards ensuring long term sustainability of water provision. Today we paid a visit to the Mmabatho Water Treatment Plant in order to gain first hand insight into the problems that have been experienced by this facility over the past days. We welcome the fact that water has now been restored to Unit 3, Unit 6, and Leopard Park within the Mahikeng area, but we have also instructed the officials of the province, the national departments, the district and local municipalities, and the water board to come up with a plan which ensures sustainability and that water outages will be a thing of the past.
Members of the media would be aware that some of the areas that were recently affected by inadequate water provision were those being serviced by the Sedibeng Water Board, where there was a dispute with the municipalities over the payment of certain amounts. The MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Lena Miga has had a session with municipalities, Sedibeng Water, Provincial Treasury and the Department of Water and Sanitation where a resolution was found to this issue.
The following is a breakdown of challenges of water provision in the province’s municipalities. The breakdown encapsulates a remedial action plan that has been developed by the provincial government to respond to these challenges.
In Moretele Local Municipality in the Bojanala District Municipality the supply of water through boreholes in Mmakaunyane village does not meet the demand, water tanks are
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currently being used as a temporary measure while a permanent solution is being sought. This includes Makolokwe village in the Rustenburg Local Municipality as well as Moruleng and Mogalwaneng villages in the Moses Kotane Local Municipality.
The supply of water in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District is fairly stable with an exception of Maquassi Hills which has been affected by the withdrawal of services by Sedibeng Water as a consequence of an industrial action. The affected areas include Maquassi, Tswelelang and Lobaleng Extension 13, 17 and 18. Water tanks are currently used as a temporary measure while a permanent solution is being sought.
In the Ngaka Modiri Molema District, the affected areas include Mahikeng, teams from both Ngaka Modiri Molema district and Mahikeng local municipalities were working on pumping the water to all the reservoirs. In the last few weeks there has been inconsistent supply of water due to the borehole which has dried up in Grootfointein. The municipality has appointed consultants to undertake assessment in Ottoshoop. Ten (10) boreholes will be drilled. This includes construction of an intermediate pump station.
Communities of Blydeville and Boikhutso in the Ditsobotla Local Municipality are currently receiving their through water tanks as boreholes that have dried up. The District Municipality is currently drilling 3 boreholes to augment the supply of water. In the Tswaing Local Municipality there is an assessment is being carried out to replace the bulk line between Greysdorp and Delareyville. The situation is fairly stable in the Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality. The Motswedi plant is now fully operational as well as the Dikonoka Eye. Boreholes have have been restored and drilled in Mareetsane and Madibogo in the Ratlou Local Municipality.
In the Dr. Ruth Segomotsi District, the Provincial Government has appointed a contractor to work on the Bloemhof to Schweizer Reneke bulk pipe line, while in BonaBona and Promfet areas residents are getting the supply through water tanks.
We are here today together with the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo, MEC Lenah Miga, Executive Mayor of Ngaka Modiri Molema, Executive Mayor of Mahikeng Local Municipality together with officials from the national and provincial
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departments, local governments, and water boards to assess the state of water provision in the province.
While we believe that considerable progress has been made in a short period of time in addressing the immediate challenges of water provision to certain areas of the province, we will continue to monitor the situation in order to ensure that both short term interventions and longer term planning are on track. We would like also to invite any resident of the province who is experiencing water problems to phone the Water Hot Line at 0800 111 700
For media enquires contact:
Media inquiries: Spokesperson to the North West Premier Sello Tatai 082 450 7842 Statai38@gmail.com
Brian Setswambung Head of Communication 0760124501 firstname.lastname@example.org