Government raises R120 million for Nelson Mandela Bay Nooitgedacht Water Scheme

MAY 25, 2015

Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, on Monday said that government is injecting R120 million in the Nelson Mandela Bay Nooitgedacht Water Scheme as one of several interventions that the Department of Water and Sanitation will make in the Metro in the 2015/2016 financial year.

The upgrading of the Nooitgedacht Low Level Scheme is projected at R450 million and will allow an additional 70Ml of water to the Metro's water supply network every day. Nooitgedacht sources the water from the Gariep Dap through the Sundays River Valley to provide water to areas such as Uitenhage, Despatch, Deal Party and Blue Water Bay.

She said that other water and sanitation infrastructure projects include plans to eradicate the bucket toilet system in parts of the Nelson Mandela Bay.

"We are here in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, amongst other things, to activate our programme of action for 2015/2016 financial year. In it, there's been an issue of national government coming to support Nelson Mandela Bay with regard to the development of the Nooitgedacht Water Scheme as well as other schemes that must assist in terms of water availability in the Metro," the Minister said.

"In it also, we're looking at the issues related to sanitation in the area and we do know amongst other that this is but one of the Metro's that has got the largest number of buckets that have to be eradicated.  We have been engaging with the MEC [Fikile Xasa] in line with the project that is being championed through Minister Pravin Gordhan.

“The MEC for Cogta in the Eastern Cape together with the Department of Water and Sanitation are now going to be working together with the Metropolitan Council in finding sustainable solutions to the implementation of the critical projects that are water and sanitation related."

She said that her department was not only looking funding problems, but also looking at improving the systems of project implementation as well as operations and maintenance.

“The other thing that we are also looking at is the adaption to the realities of water scarcity as well as protection of water in the Metro.  As we speak now, the non-revenue water stands at 43% which we believe is quite a high number and at 33% with regard to water losses," the Minister said.

"There's also a high level of water extraction in the Metro and we believe that working together with the Metro we can assist in terms of reducing the megalitres that are being extracted (from supply dams) by the City.  The last thing that is also quite important is that we have to ensure that the Water and Sanitation Master Plan of Nelson Mandela Bay adapts to the realities of the capacity requirements, the financial requirements, the realities of the rainfall that have been very low in this region but also climate change issues so that we have in all inclusive solution."

She said government was also engaging communities on saving water.

“It can't be business as usual, starting with how we plan, how we manage, how we deliver water as government in the Metro. So, we're looking forward to a good working relationship with the Metro.

“We will also be working with the Department of Human Settlements to adapt the Human Settlement design so that they respond to the issue of water scarcity, energy efficiency, so that at the end of the day we all come to appreciate that water has no substitute and this is a resource that has to be properly managed," Minister Mokonyane said.

"Leaving aside the issue of money, water availability in Nelson Mandela Bay is a challenge."

On timeframes for the Nelson Mandela Bay Nooitgedacht Water Scheme, the Minister said that; "Nooitgedacht is up to 2018 but remember there is an after care.  As we work we must make sure that as the scheme is up and running, completed, maintainence is ready to kick and make the scheme to be sustainable.  It has always been that the role is to give support to local authorities, but here there is an exception now because of the Metro having not been able to run and deliver as it was expected.  Hence, we are all coming in to say lets try and make sure the situation gets resolved in an integrated manner."