Mayors, councillors ‘must lead war on water leaks’


    28 August 2014

    Mayors and councillors should be at the forefront of the fight against water leakages in South Africa, says KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu.

    Mchunu was visiting KwaMashu Township in Durban on Tuesday as part of the government’s War on Water Leaks campaign.

    “We will continue with this campaign across the province, and mayors and councillors must demonstrate leadership and be at the forefront of this campaign,” Mchunu said, while encouraging communities to report water leaks and illegal connections to the authorities.

    “Through the War on Water Leaks campaign, we are educating the people of this province about the importance of fixing leaking taps in their homes,” he said, noting that one drop per second from a leaking tap wasted up to 30 litres of water an hour, meaning that one household could waste 10 000 litres of water per year through leaking taps.

    “This excludes water leaks in schools, hospitals, clinics, government offices, public buildings and other recreational facilities in various municipalities.”

    He said that water leaks and illegal connections did not only occur in residential areas but also in industrial areas.

    “In this regard, government is committed to working with captains of industry, business chambers, small and commercial farmers in order to ensure that we comply with the water laws in the country.”

    The Premier announced that the provincial Water and Sanitation Department had allocated R2.4-million to eThekwini Municipality to take care of water leaks in the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) areas.

    “In the INK Area (Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu) about 533 leaks have been identified and fixed. About 375 illegal connections have been removed. 950 cases have been investigated,” he said.

    “At the end of second quarter in December 2012, eThekwini Municipality was losing more than 237-million litres a day – an increase of 3.467 million litres every day when compared to the whole of the 2011/12 financial year period. In 2011/12 the eThekwini Municipality a total of 85.6-billion litres – more than 234-million of litres a day.”

    He encouraged municipalities to use the Municipal Water Infrastructure Grant to implement water conservation programmes, and to concrete action plans in partnerships with Water Service Authorities, Water Boards and other bodies such as the Water Research Commission, the Strategic Water Partners Network, the KwaZulu- Natal Water Conservation Forum and tertiary institutions.