The National Water and Sanitation Master Plan is necessary for growth, says Water and Sanitation Deputy Director General: Strategic and Special Projects, Trevor Balzer.
“The Water and Sanitation Master Plan is necessary because there is a rapidly growing and urbanizing population, meaning there is an increase in water requirements for socio-economic growth. Climate change means that there are warmer and drier months overall and longer and more extreme events such as droughts and floods, meaning there would be less water available,” Balzer said.
Balzer was speaking at the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan consultation in Bellville, Western Cape, on Saturday.
The Department of Water and Sanitation hosted the broader stakeholder consultation to enable all participants to make inputs into the new Water and Sanitation Master Plan.
The master plan will assist in providing water and sanitation services and to establish a consolidated plan for water and sanitation management to meet future needs.
Balzer said the sector has different documents guiding the provision of water.
“These documents include the National Water Act and National Water Resource Strategy 2. The consolidation of these into one Master Plan will help the government to realise the National Development Plan, and reliable water and sanitation to everyone,” said Balzer.
The Master Plan is being developed to realize the goals enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa, National Development Plan, as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
The development of this plan comes at a time when the country is experiencing drought, with the Western Cape currently declared a disaster area.
The plan will also identify key challenges that hamper the provision of water and sanitation.
Some of the challenges that impact negatively on the delivery of water and sanitation include the refurbishment of infrastructure development, neglect of operation and maintenance, poor planning for future water provision, skills shortage in the sector and a high percentage of non-revenue water.
Members of the public have until 31 January 2018 to make submissions or comments to the draft National Water and Sanitation Master Plan. The Water and Sanitation Master Plan document is available on the website.
The finalization of the master plan will allow better planning for water and sanitation in the country, giving the government an opportunity to deliver these services while realising the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP).
The 2030 NDP goals seek to provide affordable and reliable with sufficient and safe water and hygienic sanitation. – SAnews.gov.za