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Clean water not its responsibility, says department

THE Department of Water and Environmental Affairs is passing the buck on who should be responsible for providing communities with clean drinking water.

sustainability, water securityIts spokesman, Mava Scott, yesterday argued that the constitution placed the responsibility of providing water services to communities on local municipalities, not on Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa , or her department.

Mr Scott was replying to Democratic Alliance (DA) deputy water and environmental affairs spokeswoman Marti Wenger’s warning that “all indications are that the controversial water quality problems in Mpumalanga town Carolina are the tip of the iceberg” and that ratepayers in towns in the Free State and Limpopo were gearing up to go to court to demand access to clean drinking water, just as their counterparts in Carolina had done.

“Louis Trichardt (in the Makhado municipality in Limpopo) has been without water for two months now. Ratepayers in Louis Trichardt and parts of the Free State are reportedly preparing to go to court to demand improved water access.

“In addition, Hoedspruit, Boskbokrand, Brandfort, Winburg, Soutpan, Verkeerdevlei and Marquard have all been left without clean water for significant lengths of time this year. “The question is: what is Minister Molewa’s plan to prevent further problems and to ensure potable water is delivered to these and other towns across the country that face severe water shortages?” Ms Wenger asked.

Source: Business day

Stories of a similar nature have been creeping into the news more often in recent months. It is a tragedy that the poorer communities seem to suffer the most, while the more affluent member of the community are able to rely on interventions that secure a high quality of water.

Interventions such as harvesting rainwater for indoor use and the use of appropriate filtration systems are able to treat water to sterilize the water and make it particulate fee. These interventions seem to be gaining popularity as many are awakening to the idea that the Department of Water Affairs can no longer take responsibility for the state of our water supply.

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