Free State, Northern Cape urged to enhance water delivery

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu has implored the Free State and Northern Cape provincial governments, and water entities, to step up and enhance the delivery of water and decent sanitation.

“We cannot fail in carrying out our mandate to the people. We need to constantly remember that we are in service of the people,” Mchunu said.

Mchunu made the call during his visit to the two provinces to understand the service delivery needs relating to water and sanitation needs.

The three-day visit, which started on Tuesday, is aimed at assessing the state of water projects undertaken by the department in the provinces of Free State and Northern Cape.

Mchunu said one of the reasons for the visits, is to understand the challenges faced by the department in carrying out its mandate.

“We need to clean our house and get rid of all the clutter so that we fully appreciate what we are dealing with and get to work. In order to fully comprehend the challenges that we face as a department, we will be embarking on a number of provincial visits, engaging with our provincial offices and other relevant stakeholders,” Mchunu said.

Engaging with senior officials of the Free State and Northern Cape provinces on Tuesday at a meeting held in Free State, the Minister emphasised that the work they do, which is ensuring the provision of water and sanitation to the residents of the province, is key in carrying out the realisation of these fundamental rights.

Deputy Ministers Dikeledi Magadzi and David Mahlobo are accompanying the Minister on the visits.

“We are here to execute some of the Constitutional mandate, honour the Constitution and its prescripts on issues of water and sanitation. It is for this reason that we have to deliver on our mandate for the integrity of all of us. Lip service will not happen on my watch,” Mchunu said.

Meeting with the Sedibeng Water Board and Bloem Water Board, as well as municipality representatives on Wednesday, Mchunu asked officials to inform him of challenges, in order for him to get an honest understanding of water and sanitation challenges in the provinces.

“You know what the challenges are, now let’s talk solutions,” the Minister said.

Mchunu met with the water boards, where he received the presentations on the status of water security in the provinces, with more focus on finance, governance and service delivery.

The Ministry will also meet with the Premiers from Free State Sisi Ntombela and Northern Cape Dr Zamani Saul.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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