Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the maintenance and development of water infrastructure is crucial to expanding access to all South Africans across the board.
"Our political guidance and direction is premised on government's Programme of Action, which drives all our efforts to respond to and carry out the needs and desires of South Africans," Sisulu said.
She underscored the importance of improving the delivery of decent sanitation by exploring the use of innovative technologies.
Addressing the department's two-day strategic planning session held in Pretoria on Tuesday, Sisulu said the planning terrain for the 2020/21 medium term has been intensified and includes the department's entities.
"The department sets the agenda and identifies key projects for the State-owned companies and entities to implement over a defined period. These interventions are essential for growth and sustained service delivery to a growing populace and demand," Sisulu said.
She said South Africa has been facing difficulties since the global financial crisis in 2008. However, the country has embarked on an aggressive infrastructure development programme to stimulate growth, led by the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission.
Faced with domestic factors, including constrained electricity and industrial relations, Sisulu said her department has a constitutional responsibility to deliver basic services to the people.
"It's important to recall that due to the fact that the department had accruals in the last few years, it is necessary to review the strategic plan in order to align the annual performance plan (APP) targets with the available budget," said the Minister.
She reiterated that her department will continue to find cost effective ways of realising its mandate within the allocated budget.
"[We] all have to work hard to turn the economy around and to reduce wastage. This belt-tightening exercise will require everyone to go through a difficult period until the economy recovers," the Minister said.