The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has made a commitment to fund the War on Leaks Programme until 31 October 2020. This follows non-payment of stipends to the learners undergoing the programme in the preceding months, and in line with the outcomes of the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).
DWS in consultation with Energy & Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) and Rand Water compiled a funding plan processed through the 2019 mid-term budget adjustment process with the National Treasury.
Following the approval of the mid-term budget adjustment proposal by the National Treasury last month, the Department has made a commitment of payables amounting to R461 668 639 - 00 due to Rand Water in respect of the War on Leaks Programme.
In accordance with the payment arrangement, DWS will process and honour the Learners' Stipends due in the 2019/2020 financial year. The remaining debt balance will be processed over the 2020/21 financial year in line with the prioritized funds.
In Phase 1 of the War on Leaks programme, 1726 learners have completed their training. 3854 of the 7000 Phase 2 learners have also completed their training. Phase 3 of the programme was put on hold due to funding challenges faced by the DWS.
However, DWS is re-looking at the current model utilised for this training initiative, as the training landscape has also changed since its inception. For example tertiary fees have since been waived, and this has to be considered by this programme.
It is important to note that whilst the negotiations around the necessary funding were underway, it would have been remiss of anyone to indicate what the outcomes of such processes would be, notwithstanding the desired ideals.
Issued by: Department of Water and Sanitation