While Nkandla is a national key point, South Africa’s extremely strategic water plants are not viewed as being important enough to be classified as national key points, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Water and Sanitation says.
Adv. Alberts says the recent water shortages at Rand Water in Gauteng has once again shown how important water is for the country’s normal existence and that is why the minister of water and sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane’s response regarding this is shocking and extremely worrying.
In a reply to a question in parliament about this issue, Adv. Albert asked whether in the light of the recent water shortages she would consider having Rand Water and other strategic water plants declared as national key points in order to increase security.
In her response Mokonyane says the decision lies with the minister of defence and that risk analysis are done at all the plants annually to improve security.
She said extensive water infrastructure such as water delivery pipes is the most vulnerable but water boards are doing much to protect and secure it.
Adv. Alberts says it is clear that the government is not really serious to protect one of the country’s natural resources. He said the balance between availability and provision has been finely calibrated and the slightest problem could cause great hardship.
“If one of the larger plants were to experience a real problem, the country could experience a crisis. Yet, the state views the president’s controversial house as a more important national asset and priority to secure. This will have to change,” Adv. Alberts says.
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FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO 2148
DATE OF PUBLICATION IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER: 24 OCTOBER 2014
(INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO. 19)
2148. Adv A de W Alberts (FF Plus) to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation:
Whether, in light of the recent water shortages in Gauteng, she will give consideration to declaring Rand Water and other stategic water entities in the country as national keypoints in order to improve security; if not, (a) why not and (b) what alternatives will be put in place to improve security; if so, what are the relevant details? NW2622E
No, as a Minister of Water and Sanitation I do not have powers to declare Rand Water or any strategic water institution a National Key Point. This power is vested in the Minister of Defence through the National Key Point Act (Act No. 102 of 1980) and subsequently transferred to Minister of South African Police in 2004.However all the water institutions undertake risk assessments on an annual basis to improve security on water works. In the case of Rand Water, Suikerbosrand water purification works has been declared a National Key Point.
Due to the nature of bulk water supply and location and spread of associated infrastructure, critical components such as electrical supply and the bulk water delivery pipelines which cover vast distances over rural and urban landscape are the most vulnerable. Water boards continue to invest in improved security and technology (fencing, beam system, CCTV cameras) to protect the water works assets that are critical to ensure reliability of supply.