Hon House Chairperson, hon members, in 1994, only 59% of the population had access to clean and safe drinking water. Twenty one years later in 2015, the country had progressed to a position where only 3,64 million South Africans did not have access to water. Today, that figure stands at approximately 3 million South Africans still without access to basic water services.
Although this decrease in the amount of citizens without access to water is laudable for this government, there remain considerable challenges not only in respect of delivering such services to many remote rural areas and informal settlements - but additionally, there is just as critical the challenge of ensuring that there is sufficient natural clean water supply for our current and steadily increasing population now and into perpetuity, which is compounded by the fact that South Africa is already a water scarce country.
The water challenge South Africa faces today as a nation is a composite one that is compounded upon by both micro domestic and macro international factors. The domestic factors fall under the ambit of the past legacy of exclusion under apartheid and resource allocation as well as current mismanagement by the current government of water infrastructure, centralism of power and lack of co- operative governance - particularly in respect of water resource management, lack of required skills and overarching endemic corruption in our public services. Added to this are other significant issues such as a steadily growing population which will require totally
different approaches to food production, of which clean water is an essential component.
Macro challenges in the main are centered around the ever-increasing threat of global climate change, the deleterious effects of which already challenge South Africa's water supply. The nation is situated within a georegion scientifically proven to become increasingly more prone to drought and aridity if climate change is not addressed globally and the increase in global mean temperatures are not limited to 2 C above preindustrial levels, whilst aiming more ambitiously at only 1,5 C rise.
Although South Africa has adequate legislation in place, it fails as regards the implementation and pragmatic actions required in order to fully realise and protect the rights as enshrined in the Constitution. The country must therefore take immediate steps to ensure the protection, sustainable use and continuity of its water supply now and into perpetuity for its current and future generations. [Time expired.]
As we contribute as members in this debate, I look at the contributions ... [Time expired.] Thank you.