Minister Senzo Mchunu on water and sanitation services

The Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr Senzo Mchunu, has noted the views shared by a number of individuals on the current activities relating to the provision of water and sanitation services in certain provinces throughout the country and the connotation that these activities are as a result of the upcoming local government elections.

In expressing his own views, the Minister had the following to say: “It is a coincidence that the Ministry’s appointment and subsequent assumption of duty in relation to the provision of water and sanitation services and intervening in the problems which persist, is being perceived by some as electioneering on behalf of the governing party and not viewed as part of us actually carrying out the constitutional and legislative mandates of the department.

Having read the views expressed on various platforms, including print and social media, what was interesting to note was that these lofty comments emanated from individuals who have full and unrestricted access to clean water, rather than those without any or restricted access to water!

It has also been opined by some individuals, that the non-delivery of water is not as a result of water shortages, but rather as a result of serious mismanagement which plague municipalities. We note, acknowledge and confirm that there are challenges in municipalities, for example, the City of Tshwane in relation to the water issues in Hammanskraal, in which we are currently intervening in. In respect of these management challenges and the non-delivery of water and sanitation services, we have intervened, interacted with municipalities outside of and as part of our provincial visits and have reached consensus on a way forward in most respects. What we do emphasise during our engagements is that, whilst we acknowledge the role played by the municipalities as Water Services Authorities, we will not allow their inefficiencies to impede on the delivery of water and sanitation services to the citizens of South Africa!

The fact of the matter is: summer brings with it, more rains, which in turn bring more life to the environment! Similarly, elections bring with them, hyperactivity- even on service delivery. People cannot be blamed for wanting to upscale their demands for services during this period, requiring similarly upscaled responses to their demands and this should not be perceived as mere electioneering! This is oversimplifying service delivery!

It is not entirely true that there is no water scarcity in the country, but that is a topic for another day! These comments are just beside the point – the point is SERVICE! It is a rainy season and service delivery will reach the citizens – a minute before elections and a minute thereafter!”

Source: Government of South Africa