Urgent Call to Quench Waterberg’s Thirst: Deputy Minister Mahlobo Urges Speedy Completion of Vital Water Projects

Water Project
  1. Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo, in a multi-stakeholder meeting, urged the acceleration of water and sanitation projects in the Waterberg District to ensure improved access to water for the communities.
  2. Mahlobo highlighted ongoing projects, including the Olifants River Water Resource Development Programme and the upcoming Moretele North Bulk Water Supply Scheme, emphasizing the importance of appointing contractors with adequate technical capabilities and experience to ensure successful completion.
  3. The Deputy Minister expressed significant concern over the underperformance of the Water Treatment Works in the district and called for improved management and maintenance, as well as urgent action to address sewerage spillages polluting local water resources.

In a recent meeting with mayors and municipal managers in the Waterberg District, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, David Mahlobo, called for the accelerated completion of water and sanitation projects to ensure community access to water.

The multi-stakeholder water and sanitation engagement session, held at Jan Van Rensburg Hall in Mokopane Limpopo on 9 May, brought together provincial leadership from the Department of Water and Sanitation, traditional leaders, mayors, municipal managers, and ward councillors from the local municipalities within the Waterberg District, including Lephalale, Bela Bela, Modimolle-Mookgophong, Thabazimbi, and Mokgalakwena.

The session aimed to review the state of water and sanitation in the province, with a focus on the Waterberg District, and discuss the implementation of water projects designed to deliver water to the people.

Mahlobo outlined the status of the water supply, updating attendees on the progress of ongoing projects, those completed, and some yet to commence. The goal of these projects is to improve the lives of the local people by providing them with access to water.

One project discussed was the Olifants River Water Resource Development Programme (ORWRDP) Olifants Management Model (OMM), a multi-billion-rand public-private partnership project. This ambitious undertaking aims to expedite the raw and potable bulk water infrastructure to supply the Sekhukhune and Mokgalakwena Districts. While Phases 1 and 2A of the De Hoop Dam and the 2C bulk line from De Hoop to Steelpoort are complete, there is still significant work to be done on Phase 2B, which includes a 70km pipeline, three pump stations, and three reservoirs from Flag Bashielo Dam to Mogalakwena.

Mahlobo also mentioned the upcoming Moretele North Bulk Water Supply Scheme, which is still in its early stages. This project will be funded by the department’s Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG).

However, the Deputy Minister expressed concern over the lack of completion of some projects, attributing this to a lack of capacity, manipulation, and exploitation. He called on municipalities to ensure contractors and service providers have the necessary technical capabilities and experience. “We must say no to criminality and lawlessness that threatens to stop projects and demand 30% without doing any work,” Mahlobo stated.

Mahlobo also highlighted management issues affecting the Water Treatment Works (WTW) in the Waterberg District. With nine WTWs currently operating at only 30.5% of their total design capacity of 244.2 megalitres per day, he pointed to problems in the technical areas of the municipalities and a lack of proper operation and maintenance of water infrastructures.

The Deputy Minister concluded by urging municipalities to address the ongoing issue of sewerage spillages running on the streets and polluting water resources. It was a stark reminder of the importance of these projects and the need for swift and effective action.

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