Zuma promises “water for all” – too little, too late?

Again we look at water tankers being used in the NW province to supply villages with water – the Minister of Water and Sanitation Ms Nomvula Mokonyane has received a lot of media attention for supplying the NW province with 6 water tankers at $1.5 million per tanker in order to save on the $20 million per truck per annum the province is currently spending on tenders. That is a fantastic saving provided it is a short-term solution and the necessary infrastructure is being planned to obviate the need for tenders. President Jacob Zuma reassured South Africans that this is indeed the case in his end-of-year speech last week.

I am not too sure – the number mentioned in the report belowLeaks, Water Pipes – R7bn – is being lost to “leaking taps and water pipes.” This includes water pipes between pump stations and the water meters at residences and businesses. Training artisans is a good first step, but serious commitment is needed to firstly refurbish the crumbling infrastructure, secondly install piping to decrease the need for water tenders and lastly ensure the money given to each province for water and sanitation is used for these purposes – I am not alone in suspecting there may be a few too many financial leaks too…

This report from Jenna Etheridge for News24 on 2015-12-18 at 20:32:

Cape Town – With over R450 million spent on drought relief, government is ensuring that all residents have access to water, said President Jacob Zuma on Friday. In his end of year speech, he said the funds had been spent on motorised water tankers, borehole drilling and rehabilitation, and the improvement of dysfunctional infrastructure.South Africa was a naturally water-strained country and one of the 30 driest countries in the world. Five provinces have been declared as drought-related disaster areas and some 2.7 million households were affected.

Zuma said interventions were in place to ensure all communities were serviced. Efficient planning had ensured that regional water supply dams and schemes remained “secure” and had a positive water balance, he said. The national average dam level was 66% at present.

During his state of the nation address this year, Zuma noted that R7bn was lost annually to leaking taps and water pipes. He said on Friday that 3000 young, unemployed people were in training across the country as part of the War on Leaks programme.

They would take up jobs as “water agents, plumbers and artisans”.