AfriForum said, following the announcement of water shedding by the Minister of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane.
“We are extremely concerned about the poor management by the National Water Regulator and most municipalities, and believe it’s time for an independent regulator to serve and protect our water resources,” said Julius Kleynhans, Head of Environmental Affairs at the civil rights group.
“AfriForum warned Water Affairs in 2012 that South Africa will experience a drought this year, but the lack of competence and accountability has now put the entire country at risk.”
AfriForum emphasised its concern, as the DWS did not spend the R2 billion allocated to them for 2014/15, which had to be returned to Treasury.
“Though R2 billion is only a drop in the bucket, the money could’ve been spend to establish emergency water points, such as boreholes in towns, or upgrading water infrastructure which would’ve alleviated the crisis.”
2014 was a tragic year in which communities lost family members due to contaminated drinking water. In Bloemhof in the Free State three babies died, and in Sannieshof in the North West province, 13 babies died, allegedly as a result of contaminated drinking water.
According to Kleynhans, more than 40% of clean drinking water – worth an estimated R7 billion – is lost every year due to leaks caused by badly maintained infrastructure, a lack in operations funding and bad management.
AfriForum also mentioned that the water issues in South Africa should easily convince the ANC that their National Development Plan is at risk and that fracking in the Karoo should never have been considered.
AfriForum’s Environmental Affairs Division has compiled the following tips to save water:
1. Install a proper water filtration system in your home;
2. To avoid water shedding, turn to backup water solutions, like the installation of an additional water tank on your premises;
3. Make use of a borehole;
4. Never dispose of waste water if it can be used to water your plants or garden of for cleaning purposes;
5. Take shorter showers. Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low flow version. Some units are available that allow you to cut off the flow without adjusting the water temperature knobs. Showering can use up to 20 litres of water per minute.
6. Reducing the toilet flush volume alone can save 20% of total water consumption. This can be done by putting a 2 litre soda bottle, filled with water and a little sand, into the cistern;
7. Upgrade older toilets with water efficient models;
8. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily;
9. Don’t let water run while shaving or washing your face. Brush your teeth first while you’re waiting for the water to get hot, then wash or shave after filling the basin; and
10. Fix all the leaks on your property.
SMS the name of your town to 45354 to join AfriForum in its initiative to ensure the sustainable use and protection of our water resources. (R1/SMS)