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Address by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, on the occasion of Budget Vote Number 36

Theme: "together Advancing People’s Power In Every In Community."

11 May 2016, New Assembly Chamber, Parliament, Cape Town

Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly
Honourable Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee and Committee members
Honourable Members of Parliament
Cabinet Colleagues
Chairpersons and CEs of Water Boards and other Water Sector Entities
Honoured Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

We are here to present to Parliament and the people of South Africa the Budget of the Department of Water and Sanitation for 2016/17.

As guided by the precepts and imperatives of the National Development Plan, the ANC Manifesto, the second National Water Strategy, the Department of Water and Sanitation continues to put water provision and sanitation services at the centre of the government programmes. Guided by the NDP we will steer South Africa towards radical socio-economic transformation to create jobs, reduce inequality and push back the frontiers of poverty.

Furthermore, as part of transformation ensure that there is inclusive growth, creation of new industries and promotion of knowledge-based solutions. And that water will contribute to peace and stability as well as act as a cross-cutting agent for change.

The broad vision of the National Development Plan for Water Resources and Services is that, by 2030, all South Africans will have affordable access to sufficient safe water and hygienic sanitation to live healthy and dignified lives.

Through this Budget we are presenting here, we seek to ensure that the pace of service delivery is accelerated and that we pay attention to further develop resilient infrastructure that will help us to meet the needs of households, industry, commerce and the environment.

In September 2015, together with 192 other countries, South Africa through the United Nations committed itself to the realization of the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the very first time, water and sanitation was adopted as a stand-alone Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The establishment of the relatively new Department of Water and Sanitation underscores the centrality of water and sanitation for sustainable development.

Implementation of the SDGs will require us to pay attention to the quality of projects in order to ensure quality and reliability, as underscored in the Sustainable Development Goals.

With this budget we will continue working hard to ensure that women like MaDlamini from Umkhanyakude and MaChauke from Giyani, cease to be victims of indecent assault and humiliation through bringing quality dignified sanitation and quality within their reach.


As a reminder, South Africa is a water scarce country that has never fully explored mixed water use. For some time now, the country has been in the clutches of a severe drought, largely due to climate change and the rise in temperatures. The drought has exacerbated the scarcity and has placed food production and water supplies under threat.

In response to the aforementioned challenges, the South African Government has established an Inter-Ministerial Task Team on Service Delivery, with representation from different sectors. Within the water sector, in order to mitigate the drought effects, dam operating rules have been applied to 35 dams and 4 systems where restrictions are currently applied with regard to the water resource (mandatory restrictions on domestic and agricultural use).

To mitigate the effects of the drought on water users, the Department has spent over R500 million on emergency and short-term interventions in KwaZulu Natal, Free State, North West, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Cape and Northern Cape which include:

Water conservation and Water Demand Management (War on leaks)

Surface water resource management (optimized operation of the Vaal River System)

Carting of water (fleet of motorized tankers),

Provision of static storage tanks and storage reservoirs,

Domestic rain water harvesting (drinking water, water for livestock, water for irrigation

Integrating groundwater and surface water use in the future,

Desalination at a large scale

Invest in innovative solutions such as Drop the Block, a water saving mechanism which was designed by Prasheen Dokie, a young cheminal engineer from KZN. Prasheen is here today and we want to acknowledge his presence.

Implement further transfer schemes to improve drought resilience,

Build additional storage capacity,

Lastly, roll out large scale re-use of water (effluent recycling, focus on coastal towns where treated effluent is disposed of via sea outfalls and not taken into account in return flows),

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Honourable Speaker and Members,

Since our last presentation of the Budget Vote, the Department has been hard at work to reflect on its own capacity and ensure the implementation of the Strategic Plan and the Annual Performance Plan which are aligned to the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).

Progress on the B2B implementation has been most impactful in those municipalities which have been placed under Administration and where we have appointed Water Boards as Implementing Agents.

The immediate revitalization restoration and repair of water services (uMkhanyakude and Ramotshere Moiloa, Tswaing, Mahikeng and Ditsobotla in Ngaka Modiri Molema)

The optimization of water treatment and waste water treatment works (Brits water treatment works in Madibeng and the pump stations and water treatment works in Makana)

The facilitation and the implementation of capital projects to expand the capacity and improve water quality (Mahikeng, Brits and Makana)

Honourable Members Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we tabled the Budget Vote last year, we outlined our strategic priorities (Water Resource Management; Water Infrastructure Development; Water and Sanitation Services and the exercise of regulatory and policy responsibilities) for improving service delivery to our people.

We recognize that a large number of the municipal water systems and sewerage systems are in a very poor state of operation and we are committed to fixing this.

It is our intention that where there have been service delivery failures and incidents of pollution, we will intervene, and in consultation with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the Premiers of the Provinces, to direct the relevant Water Board to exercise the powers and duties of the Water Services Authority in relation to the functions for water supply and sanitation services.


We wish to remind you of the concept of the Water and Sanitation Revolution which was intended to give more impetus and pace to the achievement of our Strategic Priorities.

I wish to reiterate our resolve to further intensify the pursuit of this chosen path that will have a catalytic effect on our socio-economic transformation agenda and the building blocks of the National Development Plan.

The how is based on the following pillars:

A robust infrastructure programme to ensure that our supply side strategy is on budget, appropriate, on target and on time.

Facilitating a water and sanitation revolution. In five years we want to have our industries, including agriculture within sight of the best water use practices in the world. We believe that with this increased resource efficiency our industry players can greatly increase their global footprint and competitiveness. The Strategic Water Partnership Networks (SWPN) is strategically positioned to be our strong partner in this space.

Expanding the water family. The South African water industry is too small, and dominated by the traditional players. We want to both expand and diversify this industry. The Water Research Commission (WRC) has been tasked to expand their technology assessment programme to assist new entrants into the water and sanitation sector.

Technology and Innovation. This remains the key ingredient of success. The Water Research, Development and Innovation Roadmap have been launched as a partnership between the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Science and Technology, with the WRC as implementing agent. Its success will be the key to supporting our water and sanitation ambitions into the future. Importantly, its success will be premised on a vibrant partnership with the private sector, civil society and research institutions.


Since we have made commitments on infrastructure roll out of major projects in the current administration, a short progress report is provided of some of the projects I mentioned last year.

Mzimvubu River Water Project (Eastern Cape)

Our plan on the Mzimvubu River Water Project in the Eastern Cape is on track, comprising two dams: a large dam at Ntabelanga and a smaller dam combined with a hydro-power facility at Laleni.

The completion of detailed designs will enable commencement of construction which is scheduled to take place during second quarter of 2016/17 financial year. The scheme also includes bulk distribution and water treatment infrastructure, for the benefit of 540,000 indigent domestic users in the OR Tambo, Alfred Nzo and Joe Gqabi District Municipalities as well as 2,800 hectare irrigation development around Tsolo.

Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase II

Phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP-2) is required in order to augment the Vaal River System through the transfer of additional volumes of water from Lesotho.

The water delivery component of the project involves the construction of a new dam (Polihali Dam), Polihali-Katse tunnel and associated infrastructure at an estimated cost of R22.9 billion with water delivery scheduled for 2024. As the benefit of the water delivery accrues to South Africa, the latter is responsible for funding the water delivery component.

Management of Acid Mine Drainage (AMD)

Vaal Gamagara (Northern Cape)

The project involves the development of additional groundwater resources to supply the anticipated water demands in support of the mining areas of the Northern Cape and other social requirements.

We are pleased to announce that plans aimed at extending the Lesotho Highlands water network to Botswana have commenced through the development of the Vaal Gamagara.

The expected completion for this phase is March 2018. Total project budget without Botswana is R13 billion and the total project budget including Botswana is estimated at R18, 4 billion.

Clanwilliam Dam and Irrigation Scheme (Western Cape)

We are happy to announce that the diversion of N7 which was a precursor to the raising of the Dam has been completed thanks to SANRAL.

Plans are also in place to extend the distribution system of Clan William dam to cover areas beyond Matsikama and Cederberg areas, thus making Clanwilliam dam a catalyst for development in the West Coast Region. We are also in consultation with the Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Rural Development and Land Reform, to ensure that beneficiaries in the land restitution process also have access, so that we redress imbalances of the past.


With the reality of water scarcity, the geographic spread of communities in relation to services and the availability of supporting infrastructure underscore the challenges of this project.

To give effect to some of the revolutionary principles, the Department has already started implementing a grey water Recycling system in the Nketoana and Setsoto Local Municipality of the Free State Province.

The Department will also intervene in some municipalities that are struggling to fund the provision and or maintenance of bulk Infrastructure directly supporting the Bucket Eradication Programme. In addition, the Department through the Bucket Eradication Programme manage to address the poor infrastructure network emanating from self-made house connections from households, construct new pump-stations and avert further raw sewage spillages into the Caledon River in the Ficksburg area. To date, some 1175 buckets were eradicated. This is one amongst many communities in the country where we take pride that we have improved the quality of lives to our people and provided them with dignified solution.

In the North West province, where only 231 bucket toilets were recorded, the Department today can announce that this province will join Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Provinces as having rid themselves of the legacy of the bucket toilets in the formal and established townships.

By far the most challenging province is the Northern Cape with its flat terrain, scattered project areas and hard rock located almost immediately below the ground surface, demanded the sophisticated machinery to excavate deep trenches for new municipal services. However, considerable progress has been made and the majority of projects will be completed by the end of June 2016. Our efforts to address the legacy of bucket toilets are well on track and against all odds the Department is making steady progress towards realizing that sanitation is dignity.


As a contribution to Inclusive Growth, Rural Development and Land Reform we implemented initiatives that support the Resource Poor Farmers project with access to water through the Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) program. Cumulatively, 862 rainwater harvesting tanks have been installed.


In August 2015 we launched the War on Leaks that seeks to build capacity required by government and the private sector to reduce the high volume of water loss.

Phase 1 of the project is currently underway and a total of 2 827 learners are engaged in the learning process in all nine provinces. The war on leaks programme will shortly enter phase two of the three phases and as of 1 July 2016, seven thousand learners will be recruited onto the programme. By June 2017, the third phase of the project will be concluded and a total of fifteen thousand learners will then be active on the programme.


Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since we took over this portfolio, we have travelled throughout the length and breadth of the country, getting to grips with the economic and social implications of water as a cross-cutting enabler for the development South Africa has committed itself to. We recognise the strides that have been made since the democratic dispensation in 1994, but we are also mindful of the fact that more needs to be done to ensure that the unserved are served, that water is treated as the precious resource that it is and ensure sustainability and reliability.

However, we recognize that over the years the water and sanitation sector has not transformed itself as it should have and our people have not actively participated or benefited from the sector other than being recipients of water.

The Department is now committed to transformation and have made it a point to focus on tangible procurement transformation by ensuring that women, youth and persons with disabilities are specifically targeted in the current procurement process. The Department now has multiple strategies to address economic empowerment of these specific groups such as the implementation of a preferred data base for various commodities relating to for example Professional Service Providers (PSPs) or contractors. Targeted sub-contracting is another mechanism utilised by encouraging joint ventures to incorporate the utilisation of SMMEs as sub-contractors. In its annual performance plan, the Department has further committed to including a 30% set aside for qualifying small enterprises.

We are committing ourselves to fundamentally transforming the sector and ensuring that our people do not solely benefit as tap openers but play a meaningful role. Together with our Entities and Boards, we will

Invest in skilling, especially young people so that they play a meaningful role in the building of dams and the delivery of sanitation infrastructure

Create an enabling environment for job opportunities for the historically excluded and vulnerable groups

Target rural development initiatives that support small holder farmers

Support small, medium and micro-enterprises in the sector

Honourable Members, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Programme 1: Administration: R1 659 488 000-00 (One billion six-hundred and fifty-nine million four hundred and eighty-eight Rand). Examples include the establishment of a Programme Management Unit.

Programme 4: Water and Sanitation Services: R701 945 000-00 (Seven-hundred and one million, nine-hundred and forty-five million Rand) Examples are rain water harvesting and support to Resource-Poor farmers


Chairperson and Honourable Members

Pursuant to the objective of radical transformation of the water and sanitation sector in redressing the imbalances of the past, the Department has gazetted the sanitation policy for public comments. The policy is aimed at addressing sanitation throughout the whole value chain.

The Department is also working tirelessly to finalise the National Water and Sanitation Bill that will under-go parliamentary processes and be published for public consultation during this financial year. The objective of the Bill is to radically transform the water and sanitation sector across the value chain and create an enabling environment for the delivery of basic water and sanitation services to communities who were historically disadvantaged, thus enhancing access, equity and sustainability.

We will also ensure that the creation of the Water and Sanitation Infrastructure Agency finds traction whilst we pursue the consolidation and rationalization of the Water Boards. During this financial year we will continue with the process of amalgamating Mhlatuze Water and Umgeni Water into one KZN wall to wall Water Board.

The Water Use Licence regulatory framework has been revised in accordance with the integrated licence approach. In addition, the regulations for the metering of water for irrigation purposes have been gazetted for public comments and will be finalised within the first quarter of the financial year.


Chairperson and Honourable Members,

As we have alluded to earlier the Department continues to build and support building of new infrastructure to augment existing schemes and to develop new resources altogether for various uses: Some of these are the following:

In Limpopo the following projects have been considered:

Groot Letaba Water Augmentation Project (GLeWAP)

Tzaneen Dam Wall Raising and the Construction of Nwamitwa Dam in Mopani District Municipality of Limpopo. These projects are various stages of readiness.

Giyani Groundwater Augmentation and upgrade work on the Giyani waste water treatment plant, which is in a very bad state


We will continue to support the building of water distribution infrastructure through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant to the total amount of over R5 billion for the 2016/17 financial year.

These projects support local government in bringing water from the source closer to the people such as the Presidential Intervention Project for Mthatha Town in King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape; the bulk water supply for the Moses Kotane Local Municipality and Rustenburg in the North-West; Jozini-Ingwavuma water project for the Jozini Local Municipality in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Other Regional Bulk Infrastructure Projects include the following, although this is not an exhaustive list:


Polokwane (Limpopo)

The intervention by the Department in the Polokwane Municipality will help unlock development which has been stifled due to water shortages as a result of drought and ageing infrastructure.

In this financial year, we will spend approximately R200 million towards replacement of an asbestos pipeline and completion of the boreholes project as immediate relief to the current crisis.

We will also put in place processes to upgrade the Olifantspoort and Ebenezer schemes as long-term solutions to integrate both current and focused demand.

Caledon River Pipeline (Free State)

Mangaung as the economic hub the Free State Province has been affected by serious water shortages, aggravated by the drought situation.

The Department has already commenced with feasibility studies working towards conveying water from Gariep Dam to Mangaung through the construction of the Caledon Bloemfontein portable water supply scheme. This study will look into the replacement of the existing asbestos pipeline which is more than a 100 years old and is causing high water losses through leaks.

In this financial year, we will commence with the 34 km bypass between Dehook and Brankop Reservoir. The remaining 73km pipeline will follow in the 2017/18 financial year after completion of feasibility studies. The pipeline will benefit the whole of the Mangaung Metro.

Nooitgedacht Low Water/Coega Scheme (Easter Cape)

We have directed Amatola Water Board to assist the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro with the implementation of the final and phase 3 of the Nooitgedacht Low Water/Coega Scheme.

The Scheme is intended to unlock water services provision for both social and economic development in the Coega region by constructing a 70 Mega litre/day treatment module of the Nooitgedacht Water Treatment Works (WTW) and a balancing storage reservoir at Oliohantskop reservoir site. Over 1.2 million consumers in around the Metro stand to benefit from the Scheme.

Lushushwane Bulk Water Supply (Mpumalanga)

The implementation of the project will improve the quality and quantity of water supplied to the existing and additional areas of Robinsdale, Bettys Goed, Smithfield, Aankomst, Hartbeeskop, Houtbosch, Oshoek and Lochiel Settlements and reduce water losses and unaccounted water.

Namakwa Bulk Water Supply (Northern Cape)

The replacement of Namakwa Bulk Water supply project in Northern Cape Province with the Namakwa District Municipality will cost R648 million to be completed. 42 500 people and approximately 11,500 households will benefit from the project upon completion. The Project is envisage to be completed in May 2017.

Mogalakwena Bulk Water Supply (Limpopo)



Chairperson and Honourable Members,

In 2015, South Africa signed strategic agreements with Zimbabwe, Denmark, and Sweden.

These agreements will go a long way in providing water security, building capacity of the state through innovation, research and development and enhancing the water mix of the country on ground water technologies, water treatment technologies, and water management.

This financial year, TCTA and the China Construction Communication Company (CCCC) will finalise the funding model suitable for the Umzimvubu project with the assistance of the National Treasury.

In April 2016 we signed the agreement of cooperation on water resources and management with Iran. This agreement will enhance our cooperation on desalination technologies, capacitating of our engineers in dam safety and operations and maintenance.

Drought has not only affected South Africa alone but the rest of Southern African. In this regard, Botswana as the chair of Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be calling a meeting of water Ministers aimed at finding a regional solution to the challenges of drought and climate change.


Government cannot find solutions to the challenges of the communities on its own, but working together with communities we can succeed to improve delivery of services. To this end, the Department has established 77 water and sanitation forums in communities across the country.

As part of government campaign to inform the communities, 87 Community engagements were held and this ensured that communities were informed on drought issues and water use efficiency as well as water harvesting and conservation.

As I mentioned before, ours is a mandate that we are very intent on bringing to life. I therefore wish to take this time to thank the Deputy Minister, the Honourable Chair and Members of the Portfolio Committee, the Director-General, Senior Management and staff of the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Entities and Water and Sanitation Sector Partners for all their continued invaluable support.

Chairperson and Honourable Members, we will always value your oversight and demand for accountability. Ours is to do what we have to, but remain conscious of the confines and parameters of the relevant legislation. The achievements of our government, guided by the Constitution, the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan remain paramount.

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