Tarnia Baker MP
DA Member of Parliament, Water and Sanitation Portfolio Committee
In reply to a DA parliamentary question, it was revealed that only 38 of the 167 Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTWs) had valid licenses, and of these, 42 were no longer operational since 2012.
According to the 2012-13 Blue Drop report released by the department of water and sanitation, Mpumalanga is the worst performing province in the country. In terms of the water management criteria, which include: Asset Management, Management Commitment, DWQ Compliance, Process Control Management and Water Safety Planning, Mpumalanga scored a disappointing 60.9%.
This is 7.3% lower than the next worst performing province, the Northern Cape. Given that Diarrhea is the second highest cause of death among children below the age of 5, Mpumalanga’s water quality is a major contributor and cause for concern. According to the Blue Drop Report 50% of Mpumalanga’s population, have been warned not to drink their tap water without sterilizing it first.
DA submitted questions to the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane who also indicated that budgetary constraints meant that the 42 of the non-operational plants would not be refurbished until the National Treasury provided funding.
The DA is appalled by the lack of corrective measures to curb this volatile situation. Where the DA governs, we deliver: The same Blue Drop report ranked the Western Cape as the highest performing province – with four of DA-run municipalities in the top ten: City of Cape Town; Bitou; Witzenberg; and George.
The DA believes that we need to invest in maintaining and expanding our water plants in the province to ensure that more plants are operational and licensed. We need to ensure better information systems, which will give all stakeholders, easy access to relevant information for managing, operating and optimising water supply resources.
Accessibility to water is, and always will be one of the most important commodities in our daily lives. We can no longer allow the ANC to put a plaster on a gunshot wound – We need action now. We call on the Minister to implement the recommendations made in the Blue Drop 2012-13 report to ensure that the people of Mpumalanga have an optimal water system.