Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister Pamela Tshwete says the development of infrastructure within the water and sanitation sector is critical for all socio-economic development.
Speaking at the handover of the Swellendam Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW) at Railton Community Sports Field in the Western Cape on Friday, 8 July, the deputy minister said there is a need to ensure the availability of potable water for future growth and during the dry season.
“Out of the Swellendam Water Treatment Plant, surplus water is routed to three conservancy dams, namely Grootkloof 1, 2 and 3. An additional conservancy dam (Grootkloof 4) needs to be constructed in future to accommodate future growth,” she said.
Deputy Minister Tshwete said the upgrading of Swellendam WWTW, which commenced in the 2013/14 financial year and was completed in the 2015/16 financial year, has gained capacity.
“As things stand, Swellendam operates five WWTWs, two in Swellendam and one each in Buffeljagsrivier, Suurbraak and Barrydale. It is indeed pleasing that all residents have access to basic sanitation services, considering that ‘sanitation is dignity’, as we say at the department,” she said.
The total cost of upgrading the Swellendam WWTW project was R68,341,129, which was injected by the department in collaboration with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Swellendam Municipality and the Department of Human Settlements.
“During the construction phase, 109 people from the communities were employed. This project will unleash the potential of Swellendam town and Railton settlements to implement its 15-year development plans.
“The project will assist the towns to create an enabling environment for the creation of jobs. The capacity of the plant will no longer be a challenge to economic expansion.
“It is also encouraging that in terms of the Green Drop status, the Swellendam Municipality score has improved immensely from 47% in 2011 to 74.9% in 2013. With this upgrade, we expect even more improvement. It is also very encouraging that the Water Master Plan was completed in February 2015,” she said.
The deputy minister said the cooperation and success of this upgrade by all three tiers of government will lead to an overall improvement in the lives of all South Africans, especially those within this area of the Southern Cape.
“May this facility bring more hope to this community, improve the health status in society and develop the socio-economic situation in this municipality,” she said.