IN a move set to find lasting solutions to water supply and sanitation challenges, Capricorn District Municipality successfully hosted water summit to engage role players in the water services sector.
The municipality brought together Lepelle Northern Water, department of water and sanitation, SALGA, CoGHSTA and other role players at the summit in Polokwane last week. The focus of the summit was to review the water master plan (a delivery model) and consider ways of making water a catalyst for fighting poverty and enhance economic development in the district.
Member of the mayoral committee responsible for infrastructure delivery, Mokopane Matsaung told delegates that the gathering was an embodiment of CDM’s commitment to sustainable water supply and that “we are serious about finding solutions to challenges we face in the delivery of water”.
CDM’s municipal manager Mr Ngoako Molokomme said the district water master plan has identified gaps in the supply of water. He said no rural is metered, billed for revenue collection and that there’s sharp high water consumption in such areas. “There is also illegal connections and theft of water pump engines especially in Aganang and Molemole. Molokomme stated that currently there is 36 995 households that do not have piped water.
The summit agreed that the current and future demand of water exceeds available and potential supply levels. This is attributed to rapid urbanization patterns, growth of villages and other population dynamics. Mololomme cautioned that lack of potable water has a severe impact on potential economic development of the district because “the first step in fighting poverty is to provide people with water”, he said.
According to the water master plan, the district needs over R2 billion to address water supply challenges and achieve millennium development goal of universal access to water. “And this requires direct supply from dams in bulk, from other districts”, said Molokomme, adding that currently there is over-reliance on boreholes, which is not sustainable as some boreholes either collapse or dry up.
Department of water and sanitation has made available a budget of R536m for water projects in CDM in the current financial year. The Summit resolved, among other things – that households that need yard connections must be willing to pay for water and should be allowed to get metered connections.
In closing the summit, Executive Mayor Gilbert Kganyago said the summit carried hopes of millions who need water for survival and prosperity. “Despite challenges we have discussed, we cannot fail our people in their plight of a better life. We need to ensure that water plays its role in our socio-economic development. It is, therefore, a priority for us to ensure security of our water so that we are able to balance the social needs of our people – especially those who have been denied access to water in the past – with our economic needs as water is critical in fighting poverty”, he said.
According to Mr Nape Nchabeleng, of the Office of the Premier, the summit was the first in the province and hoped that other district municipalities would do the same in the following weeks that will all culminate into the provincial water summit, planned for July.
Photo DSCN2141 – Executive Mayor Gilbert Kganyago closing the district water summit last week in Polokwane.
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