WORLD WATER DAY HIGHLIGHTS THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF ACCESS TO POTABLE WATER

Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation on 22/03/2024

22 March is recognised as World Water Day. Goal six of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is access to safe water for all. In addition, South Africa’s Constitution guarantees everyone the right to have access to sufficient water.

It is very concerning that the Department of Water and Sanitation’s 2023 Blue Drop report found that less than half of all South Africa’s water systems supply drinking water that is safe for consumption,” says Christo van der Rheede, Executive Director of the FW de Klerk Foundation.

Shaun Kinnes, an intern at the Foundation, explains it as follows “The report found 51% of water systems have poor to bad microbiological water quality status and 71% of water plants failed to achieve chemical compliance. This is very concerning, especially in light of the Hammanskraal water crisis in Gauteng which saw residents being asked to refrain from drinking tap water. The Cholera outbreak led to people dying and being hospitalised due to contaminated drinking water.”

The Foundation calls upon the Government to ensure access to safe drinking water by ensuring that water plants meet the specified treatment and safety levels for consumption. South Africa does not have a water shortage problem, but a water management problem. This can only be addressed through the appointment of properly qualified water specialists and engineers.