South Africa’s Water Quality On The Cards
In a recent Business DayLive article, it has been reported that “underperforming municipalities’ licences could be revoked after a dramatic fall in water quality Blue Drop ratings”.
Of our nine provinces, six were found to be in contravention of the upholding of sufficient water quality between the period of 2012-2014. Of these six provinces, one had absolutely no system that was able to achieve the Blue Drop status.
Why is this statistic so frightening, you ask? In a country of over 50 million residents, the implication of two thirds of the country falling below acceptable drinking water quality levels means that there is a possibility that water mismanagement affects approximately 32 million residents within our borders.
While many municipalities have managed to remain under the radar in terms of penalties for insufficient water management, the spotlight is now being shone on them and far-reaching implications are now a reality.
Following in the footsteps of S.O.E. Eskom, a bite is now to follow the bark. Defaulting facilities face having their licenses revoked and re-distributed to more competent facilities, to run their water affairs.
The Blue Drop tool is intended to measure the quality of drinking water and legal compliance with requirements in providing water.
In an extract from the Business Day Live article, “the department’s director-general for policy and research, Anil Singh, said that while it would be difficult to manage plants on behalf of municipalities, the department had the authority to revoke council licences as a penalty. There are legal challenges to taking away the plants from municipalities, but we would apply our minds on how to resolve it. It is not acceptable to deny access to water.”
What are your thoughts on this – should government continue to penalise defaulting facilities – or hand them over to non-municipal entities to ensure safer access to water to locals?