Hon Chairperson, chairperson of the portfolio committee, committee members, hon Members of Parliament, my colleagues, Deputy Ministers present, our Deputy Minister for Water and Sanitation, chairpersons and chief executives of water boards and other water sector entities, honoured guests, fellow South Africans, I bid you a very good morning.
Today we present ourselves before you, the hon Members of this Fifth Parliament, with humility and honour. Let me therefore take this opportunity to congratulate you on being the democratically elected team of representatives of our people. We further congratulate the ANC on once again being given a mandate to move South Africa forward through radical socioeconomic transformation.
Today's budget speech is based on the 2014-15 Annual Performance Plan of the then Department of Water Affairs, and it will primarily focus on water- related matters, since all matters related to sanitation will be transferred by the end of September 2014.
Guided by the National Development Plan, the ANC's manifesto and the second National Water Resource Strategy, we have resolved that we will apply a seamless, integrated approach to water management. This will ensure that we provide a sustainable and holistic value chain of water supply from source to tap and from tap back to source. As we strive to consolidate our successes and celebrate the good story in the water sector, we shall, with immediate effect, use this budget to deal with the 10% of existing services that is dysfunctional and the further 26% where the provision of water is not reliable.
The continued disruption of water services and vandalism has prompted us to take quite seriously measures to protect our infrastructure. We also intend to act radically against those in our establishment who collude with owners of water trucks to disrupt the supply so as to wrongfully amass public funds. We see this as an act of corruption and we have already started to deal with it by working together with local and provincial government, as well as with other law enforcement agencies.
While water tankering is a good intervention in cases of emergency, it cannot be a permanent solution. For us to reduce the high dependency on outsourcing our responsibilities, a change management process will unfold in due course to ensure that we in the water family have the skills required to perform. Where these do not exist, we will be left with no option but to source the requisite skills with the support of the Department of Public Service and Administration.
Together with other relevant departments, we will ensure that we contribute to both job opportunities and inclusive growth by affording local communities with capacity consideration in the allocation of contracts. New ideas and innovations informed by research and development, in partnership with our own Water Research Commission, will be welcomed so that, informed by science and technology, we can also break new ground.
Ownership of access to water continues to perpetuate inequality in our country. Working together with all South Africans, we will in this financial year open up this protected space to ensure that water as a natural resource is available and shared by all. This includes those who live in villages, townships and those who are beneficiaries of land reform.
The participation of our people in the water sector is key. We will extend our stakeholder relations by ensuring that water and sanitation forums are established in every metro and district and that they represent communities, business, academia, women, youth and people with disabilities. In the first week of August 2014 we will convene a two-day summit during which all stakeholders in the water family will come together and define our working relationship.
We will move away from a "one size fits all" approach in which every district or local municipality has the powers and functions of a water services authority while its viability and capacity is questionable. Together with the SA Local Government Association, we will further engage on issues related to water tariffs, water loss and water preservation.
We will also focus on a number of single-purpose dams to supply those communities that have previously been denied access to these dams. To name but a few, I refer to the Jozini Dam in KwaZulu-Natal, the Taung Dam in the North West and the Xonxa Dam in the Eastern Cape.
These are some of the game changers that we will implement as we respond to the expectations of our people and the mandate given to this government. We will act swiftly and decisively as we deal with nothing else but service to the nation.
The total budget for the department for this financial year is R12,48 billion. During this year, our spending focus will be on providing regional bulk infrastructure for water and wastewater treatment works that link water sources to local government infrastructure. In addition, the department will also transfer R2,6 billion in 2014-15 and R3,7 billion in 2015-16 to the Water Trading Entity, through the Water Infrastructure Management programme.
My Budget Vote per programme will therefore be as follows: R1,026 billion is allocated to Administration; R597 million is allocated to Water Sector Management; R2,919 billion is allocated to Water Resources Infrastructure; R121 million is allocated to Water Sector Regulation; R7,7 billion is allocated to the Regional Implementation Programme; and R32,5 million is allocated to International Water Co-operation.
We are also developing strategic sourcing and localisation to focus on local content. In this regard, we are collaborating with three departments: the Department of Trade and Industry, National Treasury and the Department of Economic Development.
Since my appointment and that of the Deputy Minister, we have visited a few provinces to witness for ourselves the challenges around water and sanitation. We have engaged with the premiers of the Western Cape, Free State and North West. The President has made a commitment on behalf of all of us to strengthen the capacity of our municipalities and thus improve the experience and services that our people get from this important sphere of government.
We have noticed that each province or municipality has its own specific challenge. However, there were invariably a number of problems that could be classified as cross-cutting. In this regard, for example, the issue of ageing infrastructure and the maintenance thereof remain a huge challenge across the board. Secondly, there is a lack of technical capacity to ensure that water is protected, conserved, managed and controlled sustainably and equitably. There is also a lack of capacity to perform operations and maintenance activities.
I will highlight just a few of our current interventions. While the North West province requires wall-to-wall special attention, the municipalities of Madibeng, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Lekwa-Teemane have been identified for early radical intervention. In Madibeng, the focus is on the villages of Oskraal, Shakung, Maboloka, Mothutlung and Winterveldt, where boreholes are being refurbished. In Ngaka Modiri Molema, we are dealing with the institutional arrangements following the decision to disestablish the Botshelo Water Board and transfer these functions either to Magalies Water or to Sedibeng. We are also cognisant of the decision taken by the provincial government to place that municipality under their administration. From our own experience, we do believe that it is time to intervene in that district municipality.
In Lekwa-Teemane in Bloemhof, following the death of three babies due to water being contaminated by raw sewage, we mobilised departmental resources and the Sedibeng Water Board to step in and stabilise the situation. We are currently reprioritising funding to cover the R41 million required to refurbish the water supply systems.
In the Free State, following our engagement with the premier, we took swift action to deal with those areas where we have had to introduce water restrictions to both domestic and agricultural water users in the Modder River and Caledon River systems due to the low rainfall this past summer season. We have also commenced with steps to mitigate the effects of the restrictions on the city of Mangaung and have commenced with discharges - that is, the diversion of water - from the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme.
We have also initiated a study into the option of bringing water from the Gariep Dam to improve the long-term water security for Mangaung. We are preparing action plans for the municipalities of Ngwathe, Masilonyana, Mantsopa, Mafube, Nala, Metsimaholo, Lejweleputswa and Moqhaka.
In Mpumalanga we, along with the provincial government and Rand Water, are continuing with our intervention in Bushbuckridge. The project to construct reticulation and bulk distribution pipelines is making good progress.
We also intervened in Thembisile Hani Municipality, together with the Tshwane Metro Council and Rand Water, to increase bulk water supply to areas like Moloto, KwaMhlanga, Tweefontein and Kwaggafontein. The permanent solution to the challenges of Thembisile Hani will be to supply water from the Loskop Dam.
In Limpopo we are dealing with urgent interventions in the Greater Letaba Local Municipality in Tzaneen. In the O R Tambo District Municipality the focus is on the regional bulkwater and wastewater infrastructure.
Work is progressing well in Makana to reinstate ageing infrastructure, with a collaborative approach adopted between the department, local government, the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Commission and the Amatola Water Board.
Our focus in Gauteng is on the Sedibeng Regional Sewer Scheme, where good progress is being made on the R4,2 billion regional scheme intended to deliver an effective solution that will eradicate pollution of the Vaal River and create a regional bulk sanitation infrastructure solution for the southern region of Gauteng.
The reports I receive from the above-mentioned areas suggest that if we had been walking, we now need to run. We need to be able to intervene with speed to provide clean drinking water and decent sanitation to affected communities.
In order to ensure the delivery of water and sanitation services to South Africans, we are charged with the responsibility of integrating our work. Furthermore, to facilitate effective and timely investment, a comprehensive investment framework for the water and sanitation sector is being developed in terms of Strategic Infrastructure Project 18, under the PICC.
Capital investment in new water and sanitation infrastructure for the entire value chain, including the refurbishment of existing infrastructure over the next 10 years, is projected to require an estimated R670 billion. Looking forward, we will accentuate our seamless model in infrastructure development to manage the water resource from source to tap and back to source. Our infrastructure build programme will address the challenges of lack of access and the unequal distribution of water resources.
From this water infrastructure perspective, all our programmes - the Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme; the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Programme; the Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant; and all the large augmentation schemes - form part of our integrated programme intended to achieve our development objectives.
With the completion of the De Hoop Dam our focus is now on speeding up the implementation of the bulk distribution system at an estimated cost of R7,6 billion. Construction of the first pipeline, which connects the Steelpoort River to the De Hoop Dam, is already well advanced.
With regard to the Mooi-Mgeni Transfer Scheme Phase 2, the Spring Grove Dam - which augments the yield of the Mooi-Mgeni system by 60 million cubic metres, increasing the total yield to 394 million cubic metres per annum - was completed in 2013. This scheme benefits the economic hub of KwaZulu- Natal, including the municipalities of eThekwini, uMgungundlovu, Msunduzi, Ugu, Sisonke and iLembe. Work is now being undertaken on the pipeline connecting the dam to the Umgeni System.
We are pleased to inform you that good progress is being made with the preparatory work of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase 2. This includes the advance infrastructure in preparation for the construction of the Polihali Dam. Water delivery from the scheme is planned to commence by 2022. The cost of this project is estimated at R11,2 billion.
We continue to make good progress on the Mokolo and Crocodile River pipeline project. Tenders for the raising of the Hazelmere Dam are currently under adjudication. The raising of the Clanwilliam Dam wall will commence in October this year, at an estimated cost of R2,5 billion. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2017.
As previously announced by the President, work is under way to speedily and urgently intervene at the Mzimvubu Water Project, which entails the development of a multipurpose dam, the Ntabelanga Dam, to supply new irrigation development, as well as the Laleni Dam for hydropower generation. This project will also provide for domestic and industrial water requirements in the Eastern Cape.
Our department also has long-term plans for Greater Letaba. We have initiated the raising of the Tzaneen Dam wall and the construction of the new Nwamitwa Dam for the Groot Letaba River Water Development Project in Limpopo.
Significant progress, especially in the western and central basins around Gauteng, has been made through the Acid Mine Drainage Project. A tender will shortly be awarded for the eastern basin. President Zuma has also reconstituted the Interministerial Committee on Acid Mine Drainage. The regional bulk infrastructure grant is a vehicle through which we endeavour to connect especially previously disadvantaged communities to water sources in order to address their water supply needs. Through this programme, we implement local projects in which we build water schemes, refurbish water infrastructure, upgrade reticulation and distribution systems and wastewater works. This programme continues to make a very significant impact on improving local water security. Currently, 82 schemes are under construction, of which 10 will be completed during this year.
I hasten to add that the municipal water infrastructure grant, which commenced in July 2013, will continue to address backlogs in specific water and sanitation projects, particularly within the 24 priority district municipalities identified by Cabinet.
In presenting this budget to you, I would like to extend my thanks to Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, my friend and sister and the former Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. [Applause.] I also want to take this opportunity to humble myself and express gratitude to the chairperson and members of the portfolio committee, the acting Director- General, senior management and staff of the department for their continued support and recognition of the fact that it is not business as usual.
Kuyasheshwa. [It is not business as usual.]
We need radical transformation. Our people deserve nothing less than the services to which they are entitled.
Hon members of this honourable House, as representatives of the people, your oversight and demand for accountability will spur us on to ensure that we do all that we have to do within the confines of the relevant legislation to assist the achievements of the programmes of government, guided accordingly by the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan.
Together with you, chairperson and members of the committee, we will commit this department to turning the situation around with regard to its financial controls and systems. It cannot be business as usual. Dankie. Ngiyabonga. [Thank you.]