MIL-OSI Africa: Mchunu to lead Water Services Authority Summit

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Source: South Africa News Agency

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu will lead a two-day Water Services Authority (WSA) Summit in response to the outcomes of the Blue and No Drop Reports and Green Drop Progress Assessment Report released in December 2023.

The summit will be held at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, from 18 – 19 January 2024.

Mchunu is expected to be joined by the Ministry of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Water and Sanitation Deputy Ministers, David Mahlobo and Judith Tshabalala, as well as representatives from provincial and local governments.

The summit will be attended by representatives from the 144 Water Services Authorities across the country, and will deliberate and review the reports released by the Minister in December 2023.

The gathering will enable the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Cogta, together with the Water Services Authorities, to agree on what should be done to address the findings of the drop reports.

Action plans will be developed in various groups that will converge and look into critical performing municipalities, poor performing municipalities, average performing municipalities and excellent performing municipalities.

The summit will further discuss the following:

•            The implication of the 2023 No Drop, Blue Drop, and Green Drop results.

•            Identify the main causes of good and poor performance.

•            Identify the most important issues to be included in action plans to be developed by Water Services Authorities with poor and critical performing water supply and wastewater systems.

•            Exchange best practices, share lessons learned and identify areas of collaboration.

•            Identify various support mechanisms to assist the poor and critical performing entities.

•            Raise the profile of the quality of water and sanitation services by engaging and encouraging mayors to be ambassadors of change.

This comes at the backdrop of the release of the reports on water quality (Blue Drop), non-revenue water (No Drop), as well as a report on the state of waste water (Green Drop) in all Water Services Authorities in the country.

The Blue and No Drop Reports indicate that there has been a decline in drinking water quality and an increase in non-revenue water since the last reports were issued in 2014.

The Green Drop Progress Assessment Report also indicates an increased risk in the performance of municipal wastewater treatment systems.

The Blue, Green and No Drop Certification programmes are aimed at improving municipal drinking water quality, wastewater management as well as water conservation and demand management.

The programme is a transparency and accountability mechanism by government on the state of water and sanitation to ensure that all role players in the water sector are held accountable and the citizens are informed about the state of their drinking water quality, provision and how waste water is managed to ensure that their health and the environment are protected.

The regulating mechanism provides for the DWS to initiate corrective measures to address deficiencies identified during each assessment. – SAnews.gov.za

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