Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi hands over a R5.8 million Jansenville Intervention Water Project to Ikwezi

INDEED A GOOD STORY TO TELL… Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, opens the tap after cutting the symbolic ribbon tied to it at Gcinubuzwe High School in Jansenville. Flanking her, from left to right, are Cacadu District Municipality Portfolio Councillor, Notizi Vanda (in white helmet); Ikwezi Local Municipality Councillor, Asanda Mboneni (in ANC regalia); Gcinubuzwe High School Principal, Dr Nicolaas Wevers (holding ribbon) and Mayor Sizwe Mngwevu, right, as well as teachers, councillors and residents.

Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi hands over a R5.8 million Jansenville Intervention Water Project to Ikwezi 

In an effort to improve the quality of water available to local residents, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, handed over an intervention water quality and quantity project worth R5.8 million to the Ikwezi Local Municipality on 20 March in Jansenville.

The Deputy Minister’s visit to was part of her department’s 2014 National Water Week which took place from 17 to 23 March under the theme ‘Celebrating 20 years of Water Delivery for Social and Economic Development’. 

“Government has made many strides in the past twenty years in delivering water to the majority of our people and we acknowledge the fact that more still needs to be done. South Africa is a water scarce country and ranks amongst the 30 driest countries in the world,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said, adding; “The little water that we have should be conserved, respected, shared and enjoyed by present and future generations in our country.” 

The intervention project was a result of the collaboration between the Department of Water Affairs, the Cacadu District and Ikwezi municipalities. While water is a scarce resource in the arid Karoo region where Ikwezi is situated, there is also a challenge of poor quality ground water where it is found.

Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said that “Everyone has the right to have access to clean drinking water.

“During my last visit here I left very worried about the plight of water in this area which was a hindrance to development in Ikwezi Local Municipality. Indeed water is life and it is a catalyst to development.”

She said water samples taken by her department on Jansenville’s boreholes indicated that the quality of borehole water supplying Jansenville was so poor that it may have led to real and significant risk to public health.

“The high sulphur content in the water caused rotten egg smell. We improved the water quality, reduced water loss through war on leaks project, operations and maintenance, training and capacity building.

“I am proud to announce that the water problem in this area is a thing of the past, together we have solved that problem and the people of Jansenville are now drinking clean water,” the Deputy Minister said.

Among her department’s interventions in Ikwezi was; a special grant of R3.2 million, through the Accelerated Community Infrastructure programme (ACIP) and R2.7 million for the erection of Rain Water Harvesting Tanks (RWH) including accessories like tanks, stands and gutters.

Through this allocation a total of 435 tanks were erected; the sum of R1 million was granted to deal with pressing water loss management challenges through the installation of zone meters; R600 000 for household leak repairs; R300 000 to train process controllers. To reinforce the intervention Cacadu District Municipality allocated R1 million for exploratory drilling which resulted in high yield borehole with much better quality.

Consequently, Ikwezi’s Green Drop status has improved from 2.9% to about 60%.

“It is indeed a good story to tell. In a bid to provide long term solution to the water challenges in this area, the Department of Water Affairs has budgeted an amount of R2 million for a feasibility study to determine actions required for a long term water supply solution for the people of Ikwezi Local municipality. This high level feasibility study is nearing its completion,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.

She also commended local residents for being patient and raising their issues with government through the correct channels without resorting to violent protests or vandalising public properties.

“In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to the Mayors of both the Cacadu District and Ikwezi Local municipalities for the cooperation and commitment on this project,” said the Deputy Minister.