Posted on: March 11, 2009 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

South Africa.  According to the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry, Lindiwe Hendricks, there is no water supply security crisis and the water is potable/safe for consumption. Ms Hendricks was speaking at a social cluster media briefing on Monday and said that regular testing was carried out and samples taken nationwide from water supply systems complied with health quality requirements.

The minister noted that the quality of water in some municipalities may not meet required standards due to old and ageing infrastructure and resources, and added that the department has a system in place to assist with the overall management of water quality.  According to the minister, the Department has allocated an additional budget to the current Municipal Infrastructure Grant and the Bulk Infrastructure Grant.

In the current term, an additional 1.465 million have been provided with basic access to water supply, increasing from 80 percent in 2004 to 91 percent. There was also an increase in basic sanitation supply with 1.16 million households having access to basic sanitation increasing the number from 66 percent in 2004 to 74 percent at the current moment.

In addition to the households, the schools programme has supplied water facilities to 51 schools and sanitation facilities were supplied to 125 schools in the last financial year.

The remaining 3035 schools will be adressed in 2010 according to Ms Hendricks. The minister also maintained that all schools in the country will have basic access to water and sanitation.

Finally, the minister said that the Department of Water Affairs will be putting up an additional R500 million in 2009/10 to deal with the immediate challenges in the provision of water and sanitation.

Source: BuaNews