Premier Zille to Address Water Security Indaba
Tomorrow, Premier Helen Zille will address the Western Cape Water Security Indaba in Goudini.
The Indaba is set to deliberate on solutions to the water crisis facing South Africa and the Western Cape. The gathering is being held in partnership with the national Department of Water and Sanitation. National Minster of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, Deputy Minister, Pamela Tshwete and Western Cape Minister Anton Bredell will also be in attendance, along with a broad cross-section of representatives from all 3 spheres of government.
In 2015/16, South Africa recorded its worst drought since 1904 and its impact was felt nationwide.
In the Western Cape, level 3B restrictions are currently in place in the City of Cape Town. The Agricultural Sector has been hard hit with 200 000 tonnes of wheat lost in the 2015 winter, and a 15% decrease in fruit production in 2015/16. Some 30 000 animals have also been sold due to farmers battling to feed their livestock. Agricultural economists are projecting a R112 million decrease in Gross Value Added in the sector, and a possible drop of 1 728 in the number of available seasonal work opportunities.
Premier Zille will encourage the different spheres of government to cooperate in finding solutions that could not only address the current crisis, but mitigate a disaster in the future. A broad range of interventions will be discussed, including tapping into the Table Mountain Aquifer, desalination and water re-use.
Zille will also highlight several crucial interventions, which require cooperation across all spheres, led by national government:
1. Maintenance/Replacement of bulk infrastructure:
- Every year South Africa loses millions of litres of good quality water due to leaks and poor bulk infrastructure.
- Rural municipalities in particular do not have the budget available to cover the extent of water infrastructure upgrades that are required. For example, in Kannaland, at least 50% of the water supply is lost due to leaks – we need to arrest this bleeding.
- It is estimated that R3 billion is required in order to address municipal water infrastructure backlogs in the Western Cape.
2. Extension of Voëlvlei & Clanwilliam Dam walls
- Given that water requirements will exceed the current supply by 2019, we need to create extra capacity in our already existing dams.
- The extension of the Voëlvlei and Clanwilliam dam walls would go a long way toward building additional capacity.
3. Behaviour change & Dual Water Systems
- Various options need to be considered around regulations and policies governing the use of water and sanitation for general household or business activities.
- South Africa is one of the few countries in the world where people are able to flush clean, drinkable water down the toilet. We lose at least 7.5 litres of good quality water every time we flush the toilet. Dual systems that allow non-portable water to be used for flushing in new developments need to be considered and driven from the top of government.
Premier Zille will address some of these crucial aspects of water management, among others.
Media are welcome to attend. However it is critical to RSVP due to space constraints. For access to the venue, kindly contact: James-Brent Styan on 084 583 1670 or James-Brent.Styan@westerncape.gov.za.
Date: Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Venue: Goudini Spa (Rawsonville)