Water project benefits poor

Your article, Water cost hits family refers.

Your article, Water cost hits family refers.

Johannesburg Water began implementing the government's policy of free basic water from July 1 2001, where all households get 6000 litres of water free every month.

Providing affordable water and sanitation services is one of the objectives of Operation Gcin'amanzi, launched in September 2003.

We are upgrading and refurbishing the water network to minimise water losses, once-off repairs of leaking fixtures and connections and effect payment of services through free-payment water meters.

Previously, the monthly water consumption for a property in Soweto was 66kilolitres due to ageing infrastructure. Monthly consumption has dropped to an average on 10,5kilolitres for a property, an 85percent reduction.

Payment levels in some areas are such that 55percent of households where meters were installed use less than their free allocation and pay nothing. The remainder pay an average of R42,05 a month for a household, compared to R149 previously.

In the process about 11509 local jobs were created, R51million spent on local economic activities, 38 local SMMEs obtained business opportunities as vendors for water credits and 230 local plumbers obtained accredited training and qualified as certified plumbers.

Baldwin Matsimela,

Johannesburg Water