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Batho Pele Principles

Municipalities instructed to deal harshly with illegal connection of water supply

By: Emmaculate Cindi

With an estimate population of 6 146 972 across five (5) district municipalities, the Limpopo provincial government has held their Water and Sanitation Summit at Warmbaths Forever Resort in Bela Bela District Municipality.


The summit comes after all 5 District Municipalities and water sectors has held their own summit to find solutions. The provincial summit is set to discuss shortage of water in the province. When he addressed more than 500 delegates, Premier Stanley Chupu Mathabatha said the summit was a follow up Water Summit that was held in Tzaneen back in 2015.


“This summit stands to address the provision of bulk infrastructure and water resourcing planning, issue of water reticulation, water to support economic development, treatment works and rural sanitation operations and maintenance”


The summit aims to address bulk infrastructure operation and maintenance plan with practical and implemental plan with targets and times frames which will be easy to monitor and evaluate based on targets and timeframes.


The summit is held when the province is currently recovering from drought session which have severely impacted negatively on the 2015 Tzaneen resolutions.


“This shortage of water supply has impacted negatively on the implementation of our Limpopo Development Plan (LDP) targets, bold plans we have enumerated in the LDP are depended on the availability of reliable and sufficient water supply”

The Premier has called on municipalities to deal harshly with illegal conduct of residents who are connecting water supply to the main water pipelines which results in huge water lose. He has called on to the communities to guard against the fraudulent use of the infrastructure.


It has been established that most municipalities are being billed for consumption that has never been used by communities due to leakage and theft.


“I am happy that national representatives are here to listen to our views because I want to tell you that the current licencing system is outdated, water usage has significally changed over time, We are currently talking Musina Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which is expected to revitalize industrial up and down stream and will change the consumption and use of water in the province”


Currently Limpopo has received 1 159 water use licence application and total of 1 067 have been finalised with 92 applications in progress to be finalised


Giving an update on the implementation of the 2015 Water and Sanitation Resolutions, Deputy Director General for Planning in the Office of the Premier Ms Magwaza took audience through resolutions and admitted that the province has not made progress in all resolutions and drought played a major role in implementing all taken resolution in a summit held in Tzaneen.


Amongst those that were implemented is the bulk infrastructure and a master plan which was developed to address the infrastructure in the province. In 2015 Limpopo sanitation was at 43% which was way below that of the 71% provision by national average for households. A draft plan has been developed and will be consulted with relevant stakeholders before the end of the 2018/2019 financial year.


To address maintenance and operations, 10% of the operational budget has been set aside which will focus on hot spots were communities take to the streets to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with inadequate supply of water in their areas.


To engage and review the presented Master Plan, delegates were taken to commissions which dealt with the following issues;

· Provision of bulk infrastructure and Water Resource Planning

· Water to support Economic development

· Waste water treatment works and rural sanitation

· Operation and maintenance


Commissions will report back to the summit by end of the summit and resolutions taken will form part of those taken in 2015 to improve maintenance and bulk infrastructure with the aim of improving water supply to the people of Limpopo province.