Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has handed over the uMshwathi Bulk Water Supply Scheme to water stressed areas in KwaZulu-Natal.
More than 3 000 households in the areas of Albert Falls, Mpolweni, Trustfeed and Nadi amongst others are set to benefit from the scheme.
"Over and above the uMshwathi Regional Bulk Water Supply Scheme we are launching today, which is being implemented by Umgeni Water, the Department of Water and Sanitation is funding various other regional bulk water supply projects to better the lives of people of KwaZulu-Natal.
"These projects are funded through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) and they span across the seven District Municipalities namely, Zululand, King Cetshwayo, iLembe District, uThukela, uMgungundlovu and Harry Gwala," the Minister said on Sunday.
uMgungundlovu recently awarded reticulation upgrade projects which were for Mpolweni and Greater Efaye.
"Other reticulation upgrade projects soon to be awarded are Thokozani and Swayimane Umbhava reticulation upgrades. All these projects combined will be worth more than R500 million funded jointly by my Department through Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) through Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) implemented over a three-year period," the Minister said.
Upon completion of these projects, all households will have metered connections.
"I have noted with interest that 30% of all projects executed and currently underway have been allocated to emerging contractors. It is my wish that we increase this allocation to 40% and ensure that women and youth are at the centre of economic empowerment," Sisulu said.
In an effort to ensure there is water security for eThekwini, ILembe, uMgungundlovu and Msunduzi Municipalities by 2030, the Department of Water and Sanitation has issued a directive to Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) and Umgeni Water to fund and implement the Umkhomazi Water Project.
"I am told that at this stage no Municipal Councils have resolved to sign water user agreements. This is something my office will ensure that the affected Water Service Authorities (WSAs) sign these water user agreements before the end of 2020 so that the project can commence," the Minister said.
Other directives that have been issued to Umgeni Water is to fund and implement the Stephen Dlamini Project in Harry Gwala District.
This project is expected to be completed by 2023 and will benefit over 113 000 people living in the area.