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Minister looks into revolutionary toilet-flushing solution

Nomvula Mokonyane's department looks at ways to eliminate the use of drinking water to flush toilets.

FILE: Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says her department is looking at new technology to eliminate the use of clean drinking water to flush toilets.

Mokonyane says this drive towards introducing low-water and no-water solutions will open opportunities for the private sector to get involved.

She was speaking ahead of her department's budget vote speech in Parliament today

A year after her department was established, Mokonyane is talking about a revolution.

"It's not all about flushing; a decent sanitation solution does not mean a flushing water-born solution. This is a sanitation revolution we want to lead."

Department Director General Margaret-Ann Diedricks says a low-water solution includes reducing the size of toilet cisterns to cut down on water wastage during flushing.

"I think there are enough clever people that are coming out of our institutions of higher learning that are able to think out of the box."

On the other hand, dry sanitation uses alternative methods to dispose of human waste.

Mokonyane says dry sanitation solutions must become the reality in both low and high-income households going forward.

She has also provided an update on her department's progress towards eradicating the bucket system.

In 2014/2015 alone, she says 20,560 bucket toilets were replaced.

Mokonyane says the remaining bucket toilets in townships will be replaced by the end of December 2015 at a cost of R975 million.

WATCH: Alternative solutions to conventional water, sanitation