South African water infrastructure plans 'need R70bn'
30 September 2009
Growing urbanisation and the widespread eradication of 'bucket systems' in South Africa has led to the need for big investment in bulk water infrastructure, water and environmental affairs minister Buyelwa Sonjica has said.
Speaking at the inauguration of a R158 million (£13.3 million) Maquassi Hill project aimed at improving water supply in the north west, she stated that completing the necessary projects for the country would cost R70 billion.
"Bulk infrastructure is a critical element of water services infrastructure and an integrated part of water services management," Ms Sonjica was quoted by the South African Press Association as saying.
According to the minister, 47 feasibility studies are currently being undertaken, 11 are being designed or are in tender and another 23 were already in the construction phase.
Emphasis has been placed on regional projects and the district of Vhembe recently saw R700 million budgeted to implement supply and sanitation projects.
Part of this money has already been used to install pipelines from the Mutale river going into the areas of Helula, Ha-Mabila and Gwangwatini, Tshwane newspaper BuaNews reported.