The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has rallied the government to take decisive action to address the ongoing water crisis.
In an effort to mitigate the crisis and secure the country’s water future, the party has emphasised the need to invest in water infrastructure, promote effective management, conservation and sustainability and to diversify water resources.
In expressing its deep concern, the IFP has highlighted the parallels between the country’s water crisis and loadshedding.
“Like loadshedding, the water crisis has not emerged overnight. It has been allowed to fester and worsen over the years, due to a lack of proactive planning, inadequate investment, and mismanagement,” said IFP leader Velenkosini Hlabisa, who added that the consequences of loadshedding are now widespread and devastating, including preventing access to clean drinking water, sanitation and public health.
He also noted that Hammanskraal, Johannesburg and Durban remain critical regions that struggle with persistent water crises owing to water shortages, infrastructure problems and water quality concerns.
Poor microbiological findings were found in 51% of the water systems during an assessment of the state of the country’s drinking water by the Blue Drop Watch Report for 2023.
“From the 151 water systems sampled, the report reveals that a staggering 71% of these systems are non-compliant with chemical standards, highlighting the widespread challenges in maintaining water quality,” Hlabisa said.
The IFP maintains that safeguarding the country’s water future remains essential in overcoming poverty and unemployment.