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WATER WISE: SUSTAINING OUR WATER RESOURCES Improving our water infrastructure


uring his 2021 SONA address, President Ramaphosa alluded to the importance of continued investment into the water sector in the country, with the announcement of the development of an infrastructure investment project pipeline worth R340-billion for sectors such as energy, water, transport and telecommunications. Speaking during his fifth State of the Nation Address the President said construction had started and progress is being made on a number of major water infrastructure projects, such as Phase 2A of the Mokolo and Crocodile River project and the uMkhomazi Water Project. Challenges that require urgent attention It has been estimated that about one third of our water in South Africa is being

lost due to aging and leaking infrastructure. This state of our infrastructure has steadily been deteriorating. Scientific reports have indicated that South Africa is fast approaching physical water scarcity by 2025, and we will have a water deficit of 17% by 2030. These startling revelations should signal a stern warning to government that the time has come to urgently relook at the present policies regarding our water and sanitation challenges. A quick glance at the present water demand clearly indicates that the demand by South Africans for water is much higher than is available. The movement of people from the rural areas as well as neighboring countries to the metros has created a high population density that has caused low water availability due to the

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Municipal Focus Magazine - Volume 51