The treaty is being reviewed through a Joint Water Commission (JWC) in order to broaden the scope of work of the Komati Basin Water Authority (Kobwa). This will enable the authority to complement and enhance efforts towards the provision of water management-related services by the two countries.
The first public consultation took place on 2 March in Malelane, Mpumalanga, and the second was held in the Eswatini on 9 March.
Kobwa has been responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the Maguga (Eswatini) and Driekoppies dams (SA), as well as associated infrastructure, which was constructed mainly to provide assurance of water supply for irrigation purposes in both states.
Addressing delegates and stakeholders during public consultations, the Department of Water and Sanitation's chief director for international water and sanitation corporation, Duduzile Mthembu, called for concerted collaborations to foster transboundary relations.
“It is through the treaty that we have seen the successful completion of the construction of the two dams. We now have to consider other avenues to look into broadening the scope of the treaty and thus ensure water security in both countries,” Mthembu said.
Echoing Mthembu’s sentiments, Kobwa CEO Trevor Shongwe affirmed that the effects of climate change - which often result in drought and severe flooding - require innovative thinking and adaptation measures.
“We have seen how floods have wrecked people’s livelihoods and the damage caused to the environment. The review of this treaty should enable all of us to proactively curb or prevent the dire effects of climate change,” Shongwe said.
SAnews.gov.za is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). SAnews.gov.za (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.Go to: http://www.sanews.gov.za