Minister Mchunu outlines areas that will contribute in ensuring a water resilient NMBMM
The Minister of Water and Sanitation Mr Senzo Mchunu and the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality’s Executive Mayor Councillor Eugene Johnson met with various stakeholders in both the public and private sectors at Coega Vulindlela Village in Gqeberha on Tuesday 23 August 2022 to outline areas of interest to ensure a water resilient Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, and surrounding areas.
The South African Constitution states that citizens have a right to clean drinking water. The aim of government is to keep up with the constitutional obligation, which is to provide security of water supply, and in that ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality residents have clean drinking water.
Minister Mchunu called on all parties to double their efforts to avert day zero and overcome drought. He stressed the desire to have a water resilient Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
Another area is the issue of climate change. The Minister emphasized the need to educate the department’s stakeholders including communities on climate change. He urged both private and public partners to make an impact by ensuring that this initiative is supported by all parties such as environmental groups, academia, etc.
He spoke about two categories of interventions, i.e. direct and indirect. The direct being the installation of water meters to control usage thereof and the indirect being awareness campaigns.
The Minister called for private public partnerships and sighted some that have taken place already with Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and Gift of the Givers drilling boreholes in the metro to augment water supply.
He said the drought situation needs innovative minds to come up with new creative ideas to address the situation. Minister Mchunu also said that although he supports entrepreneurship and business, carting water is very expensive and not sustainable hence the need for sustainable solutions.
He went on to say that the completion of Nooitgedacht Water Scheme’s Phase 4 will give the people of Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality that sustainability especially looking at the success of Phases 1-3.
The Minister also spoke about a private public partnership to construct a desalination plant in the metro to augment water supply and ensure water security and water resilience are realised in Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality.
There were three plenary sessions to discuss proposals on ways to co-create a water resilient Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality. The topics included developing diverse water sources, creating a sustainable water business, and changing incentives and behaviours.
“I also want us to deal with invasive alien plants around Churchill Dam to increase water levels. Those who have experience in dealing with them say that the removal of alien plants has an impact on the availability of water. We need to resuscitate the programme that dealt with them”, said Mchunu.
For more information, contact Sputnik Ratau, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation on 082 874 2942
Source: Government of South Africa