Inter-departmental approach expected to improve aging water infrastructure

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on Tuesday opened the Paarl Waste Water Treatment Works Project, which has been upgraded.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.  Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Water and Sanitation Minister says an inter-departmental approach is being looked at to improve aging infrastructure across the country.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on Tuesday opened the Paarl Waste Water Treatment Works Project, which has been upgraded.

Mokonyane says the plant is one of many that government is investing in to help improve sanitation and water quality in poorer communities.

She's explained that one measure the department has implemented to help mitigate the impact of droughts is by placing catchment systems across the country in order to harvest rainfall.

“Part of what we need to look at is the roll out of the rehabilitation of aging infrastructure but also sharing the costs and the programmes of the roll out of new infrastructure.”

Mokonyane adds while her department might be better prepared for any natural disasters, such as a drought, than last year, there can never be a 100 % certainty.

“We have said it two years back, post El Nino, you are going to have La Nina which is about heavy rains that flood and that is exactly what is happening. Hence, every South African must listen to the warnings that are being communicated and we must also make sure that we deal with the densities that are not planned.”

Mokonyane has urged people to be aware of the early warning signs in their areas and to listen to the instructions from their municipalities and those in authority.

(Edited by Neo Koza)