Speech on the Consideration of Report of PC on Water and Sanitation on follow-up visit to Limpopo Province to assess progress on the Giyani Bulk Water Project from 18–19 April 2023
Speech by ACDP MP, Wayne Thring

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Giyani bulk water project challenges are a cut and paste of those found around the country

Sep 8, 2023

“Honourable House Chairperson,

The ACDP welcomes this frank report from the Department on the progress made and challenges faced on the Giyani bulk water project in Limpopo. The project was intended to supply potable water to some 55 villages. The Nandoni Dam was completed in 2005 to augment the Nsami and Middle Letaba water systems in the greater Giyani Municipal area.

To date, the majority of the residents in the said 55 villages still use pit latrines and do not have sufficient access to potable water. The challenges at the Giyani bulk water project are like a cut and paste of those found around the country:

  • Corruption, which has become public enemy number one in SA.
  • A lack of consequence management.
  • A misalignment with the Department and Municipal inability or incompetence.
  • A lack of maintenance of old treatment works and dysfunctionality of new water treatment works.
  • Theft and vandalism of 68 of the 154 boreholes, meant to benefit the people.
  • Some municipalities lack the ability to function as water user authorities or water service providers.

These challenges in Limpopo, are also played out in Mpumalanga where for the past few months the residents of White River have had little to no water, especially in the elevated areas of the town. When water does come out the taps, it looks like sewer water. Currently, there is no water from the Boschrand, Phumlani and Sand River pump stations, allegedly affected by loadshedding. A crisis far bigger than Eskom is looming in South Africa. It is a water and sanitation crisis.

The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan makes for sombre reading. As a water-scarce country, SA loses 35% of its water through leakage. In Limpopo, more than half of all water supplied is lost. Operationally, local government infrastructure is a mess with about 44% of the 962 water treatment works, and 56% of the 1 150 municipal wastewater treatment works in poor or critical condition. They are described by the report as “in need of urgent rehabilitation and skilled operators”. “Some 11% of this infrastructure is completely dysfunctional”.

It is time for change and solutions. The ACDP is the solution.”

-ENDS-

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