Water and sanitation minister Senzo Mchunu has called on stakeholders in the water sector to rally behind ensuring that water supply exceeds demand. Mchunu made the call while addressing the fifth Water Research Commission Symposium held earlier this week.
“Our mantra, as the Department of Water and Sanitation, says: ‘Water is life. Sanitation is dignity'. This highlights the importance of our mandate, as it is anchored on two very fundamental human rights - the right to life and the right to human dignity,” Mchunu said.
He said the ongoing drought that continues to be experienced in some parts of the country and the Covid-19 pandemic have exacerbated water and sanitation challenges. Mchunu further urged the Water Research Commission to continue addressing water quantity and quality challenges through innovation and new technologies.
Mchunu said sustained investments in cutting-edge innovative technologies and solutions will transform sanitation.
Embrace technological innovations
“Technologies that can use less water or no water at all are the future of our country, the continent, and the global community. As the water sector, we need to embrace technological innovations and recognise them as the game changer we need in order to secure our water, now and in the future,” the minister said.
He encouraged the sector to be open to new ideas and approaches to deliver water services, stressing the importance of embracing the fourth industrial revolution and new ways of doing things.
The symposium was attended by Kenyan high commissioner Beatrice Karago; the deputy ministers of the Department of Water and Sanitation, Dikeledi Magadzi and David Mahlobo; the deputy minister of CoGTA, Thembi Nkadimeng; the chairperson of the Water Research Commission, Dr Nozi Mjoli, and the CEO of the Water Research Commission, Dhesigen Naidoo, amongst others.