Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is alarmed by the continuing water and sanitation challenges at Madibeng Local Municipality, in North West. The challenges were witnessed during a recent site visit by the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, who considered them to be symptomatic of the challenges across the country.
While these challenges need urgent action, the Committee noted the negative impact caused by the high rates of vandalism and theft to water infrastructure that is adding to the already critical challenges. The continuing vandalism and theft of valves, copper and transformers is a direct contributor to water shortages in many instances and has a negative effect service delivery by the financial resources of the municipality as money budgeted for other purposes, is diverted towards the replacement of these missing components.
Within Madibeng, the Committee noted and appreciated various infrastructure projects underway such as the R63.7 million Wastewater Infrastructure Refurbishment Project as well as refurbishment of water supply pumps at various areas, but there remain a few challenges that require urgent action.
“Maintenance of the infrastructure will prolong the lifespan of water supply infrastructure and there is an urgent need for a collaborative effort by all government departments from national to local level to remedy this situation,” said Mr Mlungisi Johnson, the Chairperson of the Committee.
CESA abhors the neglect and damage to infrastructure especially owing to vandalism and theft. The tendency to destroy what is meant to improve the quality of life of our people as a basic human right is indefensible and our communities need to be informed that they are shooting themselves in the foot, since the money that should have been used to improve infrastructure delivery has to be rerouted to replace the damage caused by vandalism and theft.
“We are appealing to the people to look after the infrastructure provided so that we can assist the government in accelerating service delivery throughout the country. With the backing of over 537 member firms, CESA is willing and able to partner with government and other key role players in finding lasting and practical solutions to these water challenges, especially in relation to infrastructure development,” says CESA Acting CEO Wally Mayne.
CESA lauds the Committee’s resolve to strengthen its oversight role not only in this municipality but with municipalities across the country to ensure that similar challenges are addressed and that the people of this great country receive quality services.