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‘Over 5 million South Africans don't have access to reliable drinking water’

The Water and Sanitation Department held what it calls a master plan workshop with the public in Bellville, Cape Town on Friday.

Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - The Water and Sanitation Department says more than five million South Africans do not have access to reliable drinking water.

The department held what it calls a master plan workshop with the public in Bellville, Cape Town on Friday.

It has urged residents to suggest ways it can improve services.

The department's Trevor Balzer says 14.1 million people do not have access to safe sanitation and only 56% of waste-water treatment plants work.

At the master plan workshop, it called on the public to make online and written submissions by 31 January with suggestions on how to improve services.

“What we working towards is getting the first draft available for Cabinet by 14 March this year. Once Cabinet endorses the first draft we will take that for further engagement.”

The department did not address the water crisis in Cape Town.

In response to questions from reporters, departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau said the national department is holding ongoing discussions with local authorities.

WATCH: CT hosts national water and sanitation master plan