In March, South Africa celebrates Water Week under the theme “Water is Life – Conserve it, Respect it, Enjoy it’’ . This message underlines the need to manage this scarce natural resource.
The Department of Water Affairs calls on all South Africans to help conserve and protect the country's water resources. South Africa has been identified as a water scarce country. So use water sparingly and spread the message of water conservation.
In South Africa, Water Week coincides with the celebration of Human Rights Day on 21 March. Access to water will thus be considered a human right. On 22 March, the country will join the rest of the world in celebrating the World Water Day.
Water Week also comes just before the sixth World Water Summit which takes place from 12 – 17 March in Marseille, France. This is the largest international water event which brings together Ministers, parliamentarians, mayors and representatives of local and regional authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations from every corner of the globe to discuss political, regional, thematic and civil society issues facing global water supply. A South African delegation is expected to travel to France to participate in this massive event led by the Minister.
The country’s already scarce water resource is further threatened by high levels of pollution in dams and rivers, water wastage that occurs in our homes as a result of leaking taps and pipes and a lack of commitment to conserve water by industries and the agricultural sector.
In his National Budget Review, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced an allocation of R75 billion over the MTEF period, to finance water infrastructure, quality management, resource planning and support to loca government. The Minister said Government would invest huge amounts in large water infrastructure projects over the next two decades.
These include the Komati water scheme augmentation projects, which will provide water to Eskom's power stations; phase 2 of the Lesotho Highlands water project, which will augment water supply for domestic and industrial users in Gauteng; and the Olifants River water resources development project, which will provide water for domestic use to semi-urban and rural communities in Limpopo, and will support new mining projects that boost economic development.
More on Water Week
- Media statement on National Water Week
- Water Affairs on National Water Week
- Speech by Minister Edna Molewa at the launch of Water Week
- National Budget Review
- Ministerial National Water Week Programme, 5-11 March 2012 [PDF - 129 KB]
- Regional National Water Week Programme, 5-11 March 2012 [PDF - 212 KB]