The Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, on Thursday told Mogoditshane residents that the government plans to transfer water reticulation from the Councils and Water Affairs to Water Utilities from 1 April,2009.
The Minister said this development was made in order to promote water access in the country by using Water Utilities, which has already shown efficiency in doing that in past years.
The Minister promised that water tariffs will not be increased by the take over by Water Utilities as prices will remain the same as they currently are.
Water Affairs, he said, will continue drilling boreholes as it is doing then pass them to Water Utilities for distribution. In order to make sure there is enough water for Water Utilities to distribute to the nation, the Minister explained that they are, besides drilling boreholes around the country, also constructing dams.
Dams currently under construction are those at Dikgatlhong, Lotsane and Tshune, both in the Central District, whose water will be used to serve villages around the country.
The minister said that Ntimbale is already serving 53 villages with water.
Still on the issue of improving efficiency of water distribution, Kedikilwe explained that they are installing toll free numbers in order to make sure that people will be able to report on issues like pipe likages around the clock free of charge.
He further asked Mogoditshane residents to pay their water bills on time in order to help the government meet the costs of distributing water to them. This, he stressed, was very important as the government can not be expected to do all the work by itself.
Explaining why they had come up with the strategy of transferring water reticulation from Council and Water Affairs to Water Utilities, Kedikilwe explained that they have copied this from other countries, which had seen that it was necessary to separate water resources management from services delivery. Further that, as it currently is, it is difficult to tell who is accountable for distribution of water and service is uneven. This he explained would make it impossible to ensure universal access to piped water by 2016 without clear accountability for water resources management and water supply.