R28 billion water infrastructure investment won’t end Rand Water’s problems

Issued by Nico De Jager MPL – DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Infrastructure Development
17 Mar 2023 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng welcomes the investment of R28 billion for Rand Water’s infrastructure.

This money will be used for 12 new reservoirs in the province to increase the capacity and supply of water by Rand Water.

However, we remain cautious about the implementation of the plan announced by Minister Mchunu.

We only need to think of Eskom where its Medupi and Kusilie projects ran over budget.

According to the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu, Gauteng currently uses 4.5 billion litres of water a day and the capacity to deliver from Rand Water is R4.4 billion litres.

Rand Water currently loses 5% of the water through leaks and bursts. Municipalities lose up to 25% as a result of technical failures including bursts and leaks. Therefore, there should be some investment on the maintenance of existing infrastructure rather that just building new reservoirs.

This province has a high rate of in-migration which necessitates the need for proactive maintenance of existing infrastructure. The amount of water available for consumption will then increase drastically.

The DA proposes that the R28 billion investment be used as follows:

  • Upgrade and maintain existing Rand Water and municipal infrastructure including leak-prone pipes and valve replacement;

    Secure all water infrastructure;

  • Expand infrastructure to include the building of additional purification plants and reservoirs;
  • Implement water conservation programmes;
  • Use innovation and technology to improve water quality and reuse and recycle water irrigation and manufacturing;

Improve management practices that can strengthen the regulation of water usage

In addition, the DA is demanding that the Minister clarify exactly where the additional funds for our water infrastructure will come from. Gauteng residents have the right to access water daily as this is a right enshrined in the Constitution.