March 2016 SoNA Special Edition

Access to water and decent sanitation

Written by Amukelani Chauke
As government works hard to improve lives and restore the dignity of all South Africans, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says the department has eradicated the bucket toilet system in five provinces.

The Minister announced this in Parliament when she participated in a debate of the State of the Nation Address recently.

“We have eradicated all buckets in five provinces. We are currently working in the remaining four provinces.

“Those four provinces have about 18 000 buckets that still need to be eradicated with the majority in the Free State province,” she said.

The Minister said that by the end of the current financial year, the department was working towards eradicating all buckets in three of those provinces, including North West, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape.

She said that in the Free State, the department would have installed all top structures with only connection to bulk pipes remaining.

This would be due to the roll out of bulk infrastructure that is being installed, the Minister said.

Citizens commended for operation hydrate

During his State of the Nation Address, the President commended the civil society initiative, Operation Hydrate, and others for the provision of water relief to many communities that have been experiencing water shortages.

He added that the building of water infrastructure remains critical so that government can grow access to water to the people and to industry consumers.

“The first phase of the Mokolo and Crocodile Water Augmentation project in Lephalale in Limpopo is fully operational,” said President Zuma.

He said this would provide 30 million cubic meters of water per annum.

During the debate, the Minister said the various initiatives taken by civil society, South Africans from all walks of life, school children, private sector and community-based organisations, which came forward and distributed drinking water to areas that are severely affected by drought is inspiring.

“These include, amongst others, Operation Hydrate and Gift of the Givers, supported by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Proudly South African. This is social cohesion and nation building in action, notwithstanding the adversity,” she said.

Approximately 16 million people have access to water  at home.

The Minister said, meanwhile, that the subsidised government housing sector has now reached the milestone of having provided four million households with housing opportunities since 1994.

This includes fully subsidised stand-alone houses,  serviced stands, community residential units, social and rental units.

“As recently as October 2015, we conducted a hand-over with President Zuma here in KwaLanga, Cape Town, of the N2 Gateway Integrated Housing Project.

“This project has delivered 14 000 homes to our people and we continue to count as we move towards the 20 000 target set by this government.

“Today, the people of Khayelitsha Sites C and B have access to a dignified sanitation solution as a pilot project of the national government,” she said.

The Minister said government would continue on this path of delivery as a sign of its commitment to changing the lives of the people and delivering a better life for all through-out the country, including in the Western Cape.

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