Parliament, Wednesday, 4 March 2020 – The Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is concerned about the lack of monitoring by the Department of Water and Sanitation on municipalities’ spending of the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG). The committee’s concerns emanate from the waste water infrastructure backlog to deal with increasing demand, as well as crumbling water services infrastructure generally.
“It is unacceptable that monitoring of municipalities is not done to ensure that allocated resources are used for the benefit of communities, especially in the context of lack of water to many communities in the province and the continuing pollution of rivers by dysfunctional waste water treatment works. It is also undesirable that unspent money is returned to the National Treasury at the expense of project that would have improved the lives of the people,” said Ms Machwene Semenya, the Chairperson of the committee.
The committee was informed that municipalities in Limpopo have so far only spend 65% of the budgeted R506 million intended to improve water infrastructure in the province. Of major concern is that Mopani District Municipality, Vhembe District, Lephalale and Sekhukhune District Municipalities have not spent any of the WSIG grant transferred to them. Cumulatively, this amounts to R200 million of unspent grant money.
The committee has called on the DWA and sister departments, especially those that transfer grant funding to municipalities, to improve their monitoring tools to ensure that grants are efficiently utilised to deliver quality services to the people.
Meanwhile, the committee has called for effective planning with clear timelines for bulk infrastructure in Limpopo. The committee is worried that the Nandoni to Nsami 49km bulk water system has not been completed, despite the initial completion date of February 2018. This delayed trend is evident among many projects in the province, which has a direct implication on the funding required, especially because infrastructure projects require further additional funds for any delays.
The committee has also called for the collaboration with municipalities to ensure alignment between the completion of bulk projects and reticulation infrastructure. It is unacceptable that provision of water and sanitation is delayed due to the delay as a result of reticulation infrastructure not being there.
The committee has called for a seamless working relationship between all departments and municipalities to ensure provision of services. The committee will for its part engage the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance, Water and Sanitation to establish a working relationship aimed at ensuring that the executive is held accountable and that services are delivered.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS, WATER AND SANITATION, MS MACHWENE SEMENYA.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Malatswa Molepo (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8438
Cell: 081 512 7920
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