12 November 2018

South Africa: Institution to Fast Track Water Use Licences

Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti is to establish an institution to accelerate the issuing of water use licences.

"The delay of the issuing of the licences to businesses, especially emerging farmers, can no longer be tolerated. Government should not be seen as a stumbling block to enthusiastic entrepreneurs who wish to contribute towards the country's economic development," Nkwinti said.

Addressing about 400 delegates at the Ministerial Innovators Interactive Session in Boksburg at the weekend, Nkwinti said the proposed licensing institution by his department should be established along the lines of the Evaluator-General in Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs, with the prerequisite skills and capacity.

"Tactics will be different, yet the strategy will be the same," the Nkwinti said.

Ministerial Advisory Council

Nkwinti also announced his intention to appoint a Ministerial Advisory Council before the end of December 2018, which will advise the Minister on matters related to the work of the Ministry and Department of Water and Sanitation.

The proposed council is to be drawn from water experts, water scientists and civil engineers.

"This matter of the department working in silo mode must come to an end. I want to remove all bureaucratic processes so that the department can deliver its mandate without any further delay," Nkwinti said.

Themed "Innovations today for tomorrow's water and sanitation solutions", the interactive session brought together exhibitors, water scientists and experts from across the country to showcase innovative solutions to challenges currently faced by the water and sanitation sector.

Professor Washington Nyabeze, a researcher and an academic called on the department to speedily establish the rest of the catchment management agencies (CMA), as it was envisaged.

"Let's implement the CMAs urgently to allow them to manage water issues in their own areas. This will go a long way towards accelerating water and sanitation delivery, and ease the backlog," Nyabeze said.

The session brought forth a strong sense that the private sector has a huge interest in the business of the department, more especially with the support of an entrenched and well operating legislative regime.

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