Millions have no clean water

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has expressed concerns about the high number of rural communities in the country that still have no access to clean water despite some being situated near big dams.

Speaking at the launch of a multi-million rand Nsezi Water Treatment Plant in Richards Bay on the North Coast, Zuma said it was unacceptable that most rural people did not enjoy access to clean water.

In KwaZulu-Natal alone more than 2,5million people still share water with animals and have no access to clean water at all.

The community of Umkhanyakude district is a classical example. the Jozini Dam is a stone's throw from their homes but people there have no access to the water.

The district suffers droughts year in and year out while the dam with potential to supply water to the people is not being utilised for their needs.

Communities do not benefit from the dam but it only destroys their crops and livestock when the authorities opted to reduce levels of water.

A R200million water treatment plant is one step leading to a better life for rural communities.

It will service domestic, mining and industrial areas, especial Richards Bay as the developing area expected to pump the economy in the province.

Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica said the country was faced with the challenge of upgrading old water infrastructure.