South Africa: Lockdown - Water to Be Provided to Drought-Stricken Areas, Says Sisulu

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has promised that water will be diverted to drought-stricken areas during the lockdown.

She has requested areas, including farming communities, who have water to share with those who do not have.

Sisulu said they have now centralised the direction of water and procurement to provide it where it was unavailable.

"Our municipalities are called water boards. They have the right to have water and they take water from bulk supply to home taps.

"Water control will now be under the command centre which is situated at Rand Water and where all directions and commands, where water is concerned, will be coming from," Sisulu said.

The command centre will ensure that all water tanks, which have been procured, are taken to places that are in need.

Sisulu said municipalities would be responsible for identifying places where the water tanks would be placed.

"All water boards will be reporting on a regular basis to the command centre in Johannesburg. Should anybody experience water shortage, this is the place we will be able to direct our tankers to.

"This is the place that will direct people, who own irrigation schemes in the farming communities, to direct some of their water to where there is a need for water.

"We are now taking over most of the work that belongs to the boards that we have given rights to look after water. We have centralised it and we will also centralise procurement of all those areas we are dealing with," said Sisulu.

Water irrigation schemes and catchment areas will also fall under the national command centre.

Sisulu promised they would collate the cost and quantity of the water taken from irrigation schemes and catchment areas, which would be paid out later.

"We are centrally controlled and all the water in South Africa will be directed by us to where it is needed most. The command centre will be able to see where we have enough water and request those with excess water to provide those who do not have," she said.

News24

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