Let's prioritise water - Mabuza
To date, the province has recorded 124 service delivery protests where people demanded water
MPUMALANGA Premier David Mabuza has urged municipalities to prioritise improving water supply in their areas.
He said to date, the province had recorded 124 service delivery protests where people demanded water.
"It looks like, if we are to take a step forward as a province we must be able to deal with problems related to water. This matter is so serious that it can either break or make us as a provincial government," Mabuza said.
In a bid to solve the water crisis, Mabuza has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (Mega) and eight "stressed" municipalities for cooperation in improving water infrastructure.
Mabuze said regardless of being the first citizen in Mpumalanga, he was also directly affected by the problem as his family in Mbombela also could only access water for an hour in three days.
"All of us are working for the people of this province, let us work very diligently and make sure that people get water.
"By the time I go back to the people to report back, there must be water in their taps because as politicians, we have been mandated by the people to resolve the issue of water, therefore we have no option but to deliver water," said Mabuza.
The memorandum of understanding is intended to create an enabling environment in support of the municipalities to speed up the provision of bulk water and sanitation infrastructure in the municipalities facing serious water challenges. These are Mkhondo, Albert Luthuli, Bushbuckridge, Nkomazi, Mbombela, Dr JS Moroka, Emalahleni and Thembisile Hani Local municipalities.
"It is high time that we work together and stop complaining about the problems we have inherited from the previous regime.
We can no longer blame the past. Whatever we inherited, belongs to us, and it is our problem today," he said.
The memorandum of understanding will also enhance the capacity of the provincial government and municipalities to deliver the identified and agreed upon water infrastructure projects through capacity building and other necessary support by Mega.
Mega is expected to visit all affected municipalities and enter into service level agreements regarding the detailed project plans.
- This article was first published in the printed newspaper on 8 October 2012