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Debate speech by Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mrs Pamela Tshwete on the occasion of the NCOP Budget Vote Debate Vote 36 at the NCOP Chambers, Parliament, Cape Town

30 May 2018

Honourable Chairperson of the NCOP
Minister for Water and Sanitation, Honourable Gugile Nkwinti
Chairperson of the Select Committee and Honourable Members
Members of the Water Sector
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

On 22nd May 2018 the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Honourable Gugile Nkwinti presented the 2018/2019 Budget Vote to the National Assembly as required by law. Today we are here to present the same budget to the Honourable Members of this House.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is always pleased to come and share plans and budget allocations here as Members of this House have a direct link with the provinces.

We are tabling this Budget Vote for service delivery to our people in dedication to our inspirational struggle hero and heroine of our times, Comrade Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu. We owe them the assurance that we will continue to change the lives of our people through service delivery, in this instance provision of Water and Sanitation to all our people, leaving no one behind.

Chairperson, our motto as a sector remains unchanged, "Water is Life and Sanitation is dignity". It is on this note that we continue with our commitment to restore the dignity of our people through our Sanitation Programme.

Allow me to start with a good story. The good story is that tomorrow I will be in Struisbaai to hand over the Waste Water Treatment Works to the Cape Agulhas Municipality. This will improve the lives of the people and boost the tourism industry of that municipality.

The second good story to tell is that we are happy to report on the significant increase in dam levels in the Western Cape, following the recent good rains across the province. The City of Cape Town and surrounding agricultural areas supplied by 6 dams presently stand at 23.4%. We still need more rain as this is far from enough.

The release of water from the Berg River Dam to the Misverstand Dam in April, combined with the recent rains, has resulted in the current level of 107.3% as of the 29th of May.

It is quite clear that the much talked about Day Zero hoax will not happen in the Western Cape. We are grateful to our people for using water in a responsible manner, and we appeal to them to continue saving water.

The third story to tell is that the Department of Water and Sanitation has made great progress in advancing the role of women in the sector through the Mentorship Programme, which successfully meets the needs of the beneficiaries through a strict tailored programme that transfers experience, knowledge, skills on time and required standards. This programme continues to assist the department to achieve the socio-economic transformation that we aspire for.

2018 will be no different in terms of the awarding of the Department of Water and Sanitation bursaries. These bursaries are afforded to internal deserving employees and tertiary students who pursue studies in the fields of Water and Sanitation. Furthermore this bursary programme continues to skill and retains required capacity in the key strategic programmes and different streams, ensuring excellence and experience as part of the career pathing strategy of the department.

The learning academy in the department has an intake of 40 learners in 22 universities across the country. We also have 8 interns and 44 graduate trainees who are mentored by technical managers within the department.

We have now recruited 10 000 learners for training on combating water leaks in communities, today I would want to report that the first phase of learners are scheduled to complete their training in September in the current financial year, while we are continuing with second phase of the programme. The programme of repairing the water pipes to prevent the water leaks will now fall under the Infrastructure and Maintenance branch, and will be budgeted for!

Ndicela ukuthatha elithuba ndibulele uMphathiswa wezamanzi nezelindle ngamaphulo nemizamo yakhe encedisana nokuphuhlisa elisebe. Ndiphinde ndibulele ngokungazenzisiyo kwiKomiti yendlu yowiso mthetho yamaphondo ejonge ezamanzi nezelindle ngeengcebiso kunye nokubonisana nathi kweli sebe.

Sibulela uluntu ngokulondoloza amanzi ngexesha sithwaxwa yimbalela. Sicela iimvaba ngee-mvaba zakwa lizwi zithi gqolo ukuthandaza, zithandazela imvula. Sikwacela nezanuse zakwantu zicamagushe kwizinyanya zisicelele imvula.


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