Mokonyane calls for introduction of rain water harvesting system

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says introducing the British America Tobacco's rain water harvesting system will help reduce the pressure on municipalities.

FILE: Water & Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane presses a button to open two sluice gates at the Vaal damn on 26 February 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

HEIDELBERG - Water And Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says she has proposed to cabinet that the government introduce British America Tobacco (BAT)'s rain water harvesting system for government buildings.

Mokonyane says in a country that has water challenges, the system should be implemented on all buildings including RDP houses.

The minister is touring the company's plant in Heidelberg.

“It’s only in this country where you don’t see containers catching this water that’s been in abundance over the last few days.”

Mokonyane says introducing the rain water harvesting system will help reduce the pressure on municipalities.

“Many municipalities owe our Rand Water millions of rands.”

British America Tobacco introduced the system in 2014 and has since saved 200 million litres of water redirected to the local municipality in Heidelberg.


Mokonyane has called on the private sector to implement rain and storm water harvesting to save water.

The minister says with the dry season still affecting some parts of the country, there is an opportunity for the private sector to find creative ways to save water.

“We hope that this can be one of the many practices that South African industries can learn. Investing R6 million to put up this infrastructure is a good investment.”

Mokonyane says the benefits of sustainable storm water harvesting goes beyond municipalities.

“Investing on water security can never be seen as being costly, because the cost of running your business without reliable water source can collapse your industry.”

Mokonyane says government is already in talks to make the harvesting system a standard feature of every RDP house.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)