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Minister`s National Water Week Message 2010

This year’s National Water Week is an historic event in the calendar of water activities. It comes at a time when South Africans are bracing themselves for the FIFA World Cup tournament in June\July, an event that will attract thousands of international visitors to our shores.

It is therefore important for us to pull out all the stops to ensure that our visitors enjoy safe and clean potable water, whose quality is rates amongst the best in the world It’s incumbent upon us to assure our citizenry and visitors that our drinking water is of the highest quality. We can do this by participating in various planned activities in our areas during the National Water Week campaign. The Department and other stakeholders such as the water boards, municipalities, NGOs, etc, have arranged a wide range of events throughout the country to enable every South Africans to be involved

Celebrated under the theme: Together We Can Save More Water, National Water Week is an awareness campaign that aims to highlight among others the need to conserve and to protect this precious resource and to use it sparingly as it is a finite resource. We all have a role to play in ensuring the protection of our water resources for our current usage and also for future generations.

Some of the activities we can get involved in during the awareness include:

  • To adopt and clean dirty rivers in our areas

  • Report leaking and burst pipes

  • Fix leaking taps in our yards and homes

  • Avoid watering our gardens with hosepipes for long periods and during the middle of the day

  • Use buckets to wash our cars instead of the hosepipes

  • Report any illegal abstraction of water from rivers and other water sources for commercial or domestic use

  • Report industries and individuals that dumReport industries and individuals that dump their toxic waste in our rivers

The South Africa Government has come a long way since 1994 to ensure accessibility of running water to all citizens. We have worked tirelessly to make water a constitutional right for everybody. Against this background, I call on all South Africans to pay for all services rendered, including water, to ensure efficient service delivery and sustainability. South Africa is a semi-arid country, which means that we don’t have enough water to sustain our livelihoods and the economy. It is therefore important that we pay for the water that we use in order for the Government to be able to employ labour that lays pipes for reticulation and to hire skilled people such as engineers and technicians to purify this precious resource.

Unless we work together to thwart the above stated challenges, South Africa will forever be vulnerable to threats of fresh water resources due to population growth, food insecurity, urbanization, industrialization, pollution of water, poor management structures and the lack of necessary scientific and technical expertise that is so crucial to the sustainability of water.

Remember to report the misuse of our water and other faults to the nearest municipal offices or call the Department’s toll free number at 0800 200 200.