South Africa: Sisulu Directs Officials to Step Up Water Service

The Department of Water and Sanitation says it is forging ahead with the provision of water to under-resourced communities.

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu, last month directed all the department's provincial offices and water entities to ensure that all communities, especially those in the rural areas and informal settlements, be provided with reliable water as a matter of urgency.

Rand Water was then appointed to coordinate all the water delivery activities and a National Command Centre was established at Rand Water to ensure that the Minister's directive is implemented effectively.

During his visit to the National Command Centre on Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his satisfaction with the manner in which the department has swiftly moved in addressing water scarcity across the country.

Sisulu said as at 7 April 2020, a total of 10 994 water tanks and 1 001 water tankers have been delivered to various communities across the country.

"We have made some strides towards providing water to a number of distressed areas. However, the fact that we are yet to reach some of our people is a cause for concern. I have instructed my officials to work around the clock to ensure everyone has water," Sisulu said.

She has appealed to community members to protect the water infrastructure provided to them, and not to vandalise it.

She also urged citizens to wash their hands regularly with soap to reduce the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

"While you are washing your hands, keep in mind that South Africa is a water scarce country, so that you avoid water wastage. Let us save this precious water resource we have currently.

"We encourage people to inculcate the culture of washing their hands regularly, especially during critical times, after using the toilet and before preparing food," the Minister said.

Water flows in Maluti-A-Phofung taps

Meanwhile, residents of Maluti-A-Phofung will breathe a sigh of relief after Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela opened the Fika Patso Water Treatment Works -- a move that will see taps flow with water again.

The Department of Water and Sanitation has been working tirelessly to bring water relief to the people of Qwaqwa, who experienced water challenges due to drought in the area.

Sisulu visited the area earlier this year and immediately instructed Sedibeng Water to put emergency interventions in place.

Among other emergency interventions that Sedibeng Water was tasked with was to refurbish Fika Patso Water Treatment Works to enable the flow of treated water straight into people's tanks.

The refurbishment of the water treatment, which is in phase one, will supply water to Mangaung, Phuthaditjhaba, Ha-Rankopane, Manapo and Lejwaneng.

Speaking at the opening of the water treatment works on Wednesday, Ntombela said the aim is to have potable water in the taps in Maluti-A-Phofung.

She also encouraged all residents to use water sparingly, as dam levels are still low.

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