The Minister of Water and Sanitation Mr Senzo Mchunu has made an impassioned plea to the Western Cape provincial government, municipalities and other stakeholders to put political associations aside and pay particular attention towards enhancing the lives of people in as far as sufficient water provision and dignified sanitation is concerned.
Minister Mchunu was addressing various stakeholders on the second day of a working session at Protea Hotel in Stellenbosch. Minister Mchunu, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, and Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi are assessing the status of water and sanitation security in the province from, 24-27 November 2021 through engagements including the Water Services Authorities (WSAs).
Mchunu emphasized the need to think about the future even beyond the current existence by taking extra steps and radical actions in order to win this battle of ensuring an adequate water supply.
“The need to better the lives of our communities is paramount, it doesn’t matter which political parties we are affiliated to, ideally enhancing the lives of citizens of this country should override our political interests”, Minister Mchunu said.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde highlighted the importance of constructing more storage dams in the Western Cape since the province is prone to drought particularly in the Little Karoo region.
“At the moment most of our dams are full but we shouldn’t be oblivious and think that we are exempted from the dreaded day Zero because we are of the view that we do not have enough dams”, said Premier Winde.
Premier Winde added that water and sanitation challenges in the Western Cape are exacerbated by amongst others land invasions and illegal informal settlements. He indicated that this is a big issue “that needs to be tackled smartly because we are unable to anticipate these growing trends and as a result, we fail to plan for them”.
Furthermore, Minister Mchunu accentuated that the need for water infrastructure more than ever before to the fact that water and sanitation challenges are growing enormously. He also indicated that we normally plan for five or ten years and that it is about time to start planning for longer terms to ensure that the livelihoods of future generations are taken care of.
On Saturday 27 November 2021 Minister Mchunu and his delegation will visit one of the most important projects undertaken by the Department of Water and Sanitation which is the Clanwilliam Dam Scheme upgrade project in the Western Cape. This visit will be to assess the progress made so far on the project, and if any, challenges that are hindering its completion.