After a media briefing on drought interventions, we have deduced that the Department of Water and Sanitation is planning to join forces with the private sector to ensure victory over the battle against drought in the country.
The country is not just fighting water scarcity‚ but also the dire state of its water infrastructure. Again, the state’s constrained ability to repair and fund the project is not helping matters. Thus, it’s only wise to seek the help of the private sector to save the country from dying off.
To make this happen, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, suggested ways by which investors can be attracted;
“We will be looking into convening a water infrastructure investment conference where we will be sharing with the world – starting with our own business people and suppliers – on the infrastructure opportunities that exist in the water sector‚ so that individual organisations and businesses can come in and invest.”
The briefing was held after a meeting with the chairs of all nine water boards at a hotel in Kempton Park‚ Johannesburg‚ on Friday. At the meeting, the extent of drought interventions were discussed alongside the implementation of water restrictions and the management and implementation of major water and sanitation infrastructure projects. The later poses a greater challenge due to inadequate funding.
Mokonyane also added:
“The infrastructure demand in the water sector can not only be funded through fiscals‚ we also need the private sector to come to the party and we know that we’ve got mega projects (in a number of provinces) that will take partnerships for us to be able to win this battle against water security in our country.”
Meanwhile, the situation in Gauteng was described as dire amid water scarcity. In fact, the bottled water served at the meeting was gotten from Franschhoek.
Mokonyane warned that the Vaal Dam is currently 26% full. If this continues to drop, it will cause the dam’s infrastructure to clog up.
Nonetheless, there’s no cause for alarm yet as plans are underway to release water from the Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State into the Vaal Dam. Fortunately, the Sterkfontein Dam‚ has increased by 0.4% to 91.5%‚ according to the minister.