Capricorn District Municipality welcomes the blue and green drops assessment reports released by Minister of Water and Sanitation in December 2023. We further note and acknowledge the key issues that have been identified as operational gaps and their potential to affect the quality of water provided to our communities and the obligation, we have to address them as matter of priority.
The assessment criteria from DWS beyond focusing on quality of water provided to communities, it also looks into; registration of Water Treatment Works with the Department of Water and Sanitation, registration of personnel that are operating water systems with professional bodies, available maintenance capacity, budgets allocated for water provisioning per scheme, management of water loss, etc.
Overall, our drinking water quality is of acceptable standard although there were instances during the period under review that some tests results of certain boreholes were not at the required quality standard, which the municipality had to rectify.
In response to the findings, we have compiled a comprehensive improvement plan which includes among others, the following:
– Registration of Capricorn District Municipality water treatment works with Department of Water and Sanitation, which has been concluded.
– Finalize processes for the appointment of Process Controllers, artisans, additional laboratory analysts.
– Register additional personnel with different professional bodies (i.e., ECSA; SACNASP)
– Review existing Water Safety Plans to ensure processes are still adequate to provide drinking water complying with regulatory standards.
– Record water flow data to measure the quantity of drinking water supplied to communities. This will be achieved through appointment of additional Process Controllers
– Provide additional operational budget for efficient and effective operation of water treatment works and laboratories which is separated from general maintenance budget.
We are also encouraged by the leadership of the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Honourable Senzo Mchunu for convening Water Services Authority Summit on the Blue Drop and Green Drop progress Assessment Report on the 18th and 19 January 2024 in Kempton Park, which outlined interventions that must be put in place by all the affected Water Services Authorities to address the findings.
We have noted the statement by DA through Cllr Chidi on the Blue Drop assessment report, and it is our view that the assessment report must not be used for political grandstanding. We must use the outcome of the assessment to channel all our efforts and energies to find solutions in improving water provision within our district.
January 2024 Council will discuss the assessment report and we invite the DA to make its contribution during the said council meeting.