02-06 August 2004

1. Names of Delegation

Ms. C.C. September (ANC), Ms. S. Maine (ANC), Ms. M.M. Gumede (ANC), Ms. M.S. Manana (ANC), Mr. Z. Kati (ANC), Ms. L. Ngwenya (ANC), Ms. T.E. Lishiva (ANC), Mr. J. Phala (ANC), Mr. V. Mabuyakhulu (ANC), Mr. S. Simons (NNP), Ms. D. van der Walt (DA), Mr. M.W. Sibuyana (IFP), Ms. S.N Sigcau (UDM), Mr. G.D. Corker (Researcher), Ms. S. Cassiem (Committee Secretary), Ms. O. Siebritz (Committee Assistant).

2. Purpose of Study Tour

A delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry undertook a study tour in the Southern Cape and parts of the Western Cape from the 2nd to the 6th of August 2004. The Committee previously visited the other provinces, excluding the Southern and Western Cape. The purpose of the study tour was to:

3. Places Visited

The delegation held sessions in eight towns of the Western Cape, i.e. Knysna, George, Calitzdorp, Heidelberg, Bot River, Franschoek, Stellenbosch and Khayelitsha in Cape Town. The delegation also visited and had a session in Tsitsikama and Stormsrivier in the Southern Cape. During these sessions, the delegation engaged in discussions with various stakeholders, including the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, non-governmental organisations, the Khoisan community who presented a community project. In Khayelitsha the Committee had a session with officials from the City of Cape Town and also embarked on a visit to Khayelitsha where officials from the City of Cape Town presented the Committee with a pilot sanitation project.

4. Structure of Report

The report presents the daily activities undertaken by the delegation while on the study tour. The report therefore outlines the various presentations introduced to the Committee by the various stakeholders. Secondly, the report outlines site visits undertaken by the Committee. Thirdly, the report identifies the concerns and questions raised by the Committee to the institutions who presented to the Committee and in addition the report outlines the responses of the institutions. The report also discusses the salient issues and common problems that were identified by the Committee during the presentations and while on site visits. Lastly, the report outlines the recommendations put forward by the Committee for action.

5. Day 1: Presentation by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry at the Knysna Log Inn.

The delegation met with the officials from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, namely, Dr. Henk van Vliet (Chief Director, Southern Region), Mr. L. Mossop-Rousseau (Manager, Forestry), Mr. Ceba Mtoba (Director, Forestry) and Mr. M. Lucas (Area Manager, Southern Cape). Other officials present were introduced as Mr. J Truter, Mr. Mfeleshake Mahlangu, Mr. Kobus Venter, Mr. G. Durrheim, Mr. Siya Kobese, and Mr. W. Vermeulen. Other officials who joined in the study tour at a later stage are Mr. Rashied Khan (Director, Water Affairs and Forestry, Western Cape), Mr. Klaas Havenga (Estate Manager, Diepwalle), Mr. K. Havenga, Mr. L. du Plessis, Mr. J. van Staden and Mr. Mike Smart. The objective of the Committee was to obtain a sense of Forestry and Deforestation, and also to determine whether these two aspects are benefiting the notion of poverty alleviation. These Officials were tasked to inform the Committee about these issues. From their presentation, the following was extracted:

    1. Conservation Forestry Management

DWAF officials informed the Committee that they have a limited number of staff with a limited budget to manage areas under DWAF management. Table 1 represents the number of existing staff for existing management areas. Table 2 represents the existing budget for existing management areas.

Table 1. Number of existing staff for existing management areas.




Disabled Persons


























Scientific Services







































Table 2: Budget for existing management areas.










3 814


4 113

2 271

2 523

12 721

Goods & Services

1 743



2 200

1 973

2 040

8 656








Machinery & Equipment









5 589



6 376

4 304

4 677

21 646

According to DWAF officials with the number of staff (as depicted in Table 1) and the budget (as depicted in Table 2), DWAF has to manage the following:

5.2. Key achievements that were identified by the officials of DWAF were:

5.3. Officials of DWAF highlighted the following challenges faced by the Department:

    1. Concerns raised by DWAF officials

  1. Forestry Restructuring in the Southern and Western Cape

    1. Background to commercial forestry restructuring

SAFCOL was established in 1992 in terms of the Management of State Forests Act, Act 128 of 1992. SAFCOL was incorporated and registered on 21 September 1992 in terms of the Companies Act, Act 61 of 1973, with the State as sole shareholder. SAFCOL’s mandate was to manage State owned plantations on a fully commercial basis and to report profits made through the "commercialization of State owned plantation forests". The State’s commercial plantations were transferred to SAFCOL on 01 April 1993. In 1996, it was decided that Government should exit from plantation forestry operations. This was to be achieved through the privatization of SAFCOL, who during this period had management authority over the State’s plantation forestry assets based on an agreement between the State and SAFCOL in 1994, whereby Government was to sell the State forest land and standing timber to SAFCOL.

However, the incorporation of the former homeland plantations by DWAF required the State to reconsider the privatization of State plantations. DWAF’s plantations were mostly situated next to the SAFCOL plantations which made selling a combined asset more of an option for Government if it was to exit from all its plantation operations without having residual liabilities.

This led to DWAF and SAFCOL combining their forestry activities into seven regional forestry packages and categorized plantations as follows:

DWAF officials informed the Committee that in April 1996, Prof Kader Asmal (then Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry), informed SAFCOL that the sales agreement was no longer enforceable in terms of the provisions in the National Forests Act, Government’s programme for restructuring State owned enterprises as well as its objectives with the restructuring of State owned forestry interests.

The Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) lead Government’s team to restructure SAFCOL through placing its five forestry business units on the market, inviting offers from interested bidders to purchase a majority share in the forestry business. The land on which the businesses were located would be retained as State forest land, pending its transfer in terms of the land reform programme to their rightful owners. The forestry businesses would lease the land back from Government and the new landowners for a period of 70 years.

    1. Background on SAFCOL’s restructuring in the Southern and Western Cape

In June 1999, SAFCOL’s Board was asked to consider phasing out its plantation forestry businesses in the Southern and Western Cape as well as parts in the Eastern Cape. Government contended that these plantations were not economically viable as it had a return of less than 10 cubic metre hectares a year. This issue was raised at Cabinet level, and in September 1993, Cabinet approved in principle to remove approximately 45 000 ha of State owned plantation land from further commercial forestry production under SAFCOL and to make the land available for conversion into other land uses. Cabinet’s decision was announced in a joint media statement on 14 September by the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry. Cabinet mandated an inter-departmental committee, generally referred to as the Cape Conversion Committee, to oversee the process. The Cape Conversion Committee commissioned a study to investigate the most viable alternative land uses for the so-called exit areas. A report from the Cape Conversion Committee was presented to Cabinet in 2001 (Cabinet Memorandum No 21 of 2001). On 27 June 2001 Cabinet approved that within a twenty year period, approximately 45 000 ha of plantations should be converted into the following land uses:

    1. Background on the Southern Cape and Tsitsikama Forests Transfer to South African National Parks (SANPARKS)

The transfer of the management functions of the Southern Cape and Tsitisikama State forest areas to SANPARKS is part of DWAF’s objective to transfer its management functions to other agencies while retaining policy-making and regulatory functions.

In 2001, a combination of Cabinet memorandums and agreements at Ministerial level identified three priority areas to be transferred to SANPARKS through delegation and assignment provisions in the National Forest Act. These are:

The delegation of the management functions of 97 294 ha of State forest land in the Southern Cape and Tsitsikama to SANPARKS are:

Also transferred with the management function was all movable and immovable assets, budget and staff of the indigenous forests attached to the establishment and these are:

The additional responsibilities associated with the incorporation of the land areas previously under SAFCOL’s control are not provided for in DWAF’s budget and represents an additional budget implication for the Department and subsequently, Government.



    1. Progress with Cape conversion and the MTO transaction

The Committee was informed that the conversion process is place and is managed by the conversion manager together with the Cape Conversion Committee. The objective of the conversion process is to transfer the ongoing management responsibility over commercially viable State owned plantation forest land areas which has been managed by the State for approximately 70 years to a private enterprise in terms of a lease agreement. Given the nature of the land areas, three leases are being finalized and these are:

In addition another objective is to transfer, economically unviable forest land areas, which has been cleared back to the State, for rehabilitation and conversion into land uses other than forestry. Transfer agreements are therefore being negotiated with:

Officials of DWAF also reported to the Committee that the clear-felling programme, scheduled for a duration of more than 20 years, have over the past 4 years been implemented and is envisaged to end in 2020. Approximately 11 000 ha of land is already available for transfer to the receiving agents. DWAF is therefore under pressure to accept transfer of management for the land, but is concerned about additional budgetary allocations for additional line functions.

    1. Progress with the SANPARKS transfers
    2. In the beginning, DWAF opted for a temporary delegation for the Knysna transfer. This was because of a result of the inability of SANPARKS to manage any other land other than a park. It was envisaged that the arrangement of a temporary delegation would change to an assignment as soon as the appropriate legislation and systems is in place.

      The delegation document was then negotiated and signed by the DWAF Minister in November 2003. The delegation covers all aspects of management functions, assets and finance, excluding the transfer of staff. However, employees entered into a dispute about the delegation document and its contents. DWAF officials, however, believes that the dispute could not affect the actual delegation. The dispute process of employees is in the process of being resolved.

    3. Outstanding Issues
      1. The conversion process and the MTO

      1. SANPARKS transfer

6.6.3. Issues reported as implications in the transfer process:

      1. DWAF officials reported the following as being challenges:

  1. Planning and Management of the Southern Cape Forests

    1. Community involvement through Participatory Forestry Management

DWAF officials reported to the Committee that the Chief Directorate Forestry within DWAF has undergone a re-orientation and transformation process in line with the current South African democratic principles, policies and international trends.

Within this context the Chief Directorate is now considering local peoples forestry based needs, their role in forest management and is empowering them through sharing decision-making over forest utilization.

Prior to 1994 the management of indigenous forests in South Africa had a narrow scientific focus and there was little concern for the social development potential for forests and forestry. Consequently the majority of people, especially the poor rural communities, were deprived of access to forest resources and the benefits derived from them. To enhance the capacity of poor rural communities to participate in forestry management, the concept of participatory forestry management was considered by DWAF.

As a first measure to address the newly adopted departmental approach of participatory forestry management (PFM), workshops were held throughout the region to introduce the local communities to this aspect of service delivery. Contributing to the success of the workshops was the involvement of the South Cape Business Centre; a non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities. The local communities expressed interest in becoming involved in the management of forests in their localities and wanted to derive any possible benefits from PFM.

As a means to promote more community participation in indigenous forest management, PFM forums, comprising the local communities and DWAF staff were set up on the three forest estates. Extensive training to local communities, through PFM forums, on basic management and business enterprise formation and management skills took place. This resulted in:

Arising from the above, the following internal systems and procedures were developed:

PFM projects included:

7.1.2. DWAF officials reported the following as being successes:

7.1.3. DWAF officials reported the following as being challenges:

7.2. Concerns Raised by the Committee

      1. Responses by DWAF to concerns raised by the Committee




  1. Day 2: Field Visit: Diepwalle Forestry Estate

The objective of the Committees visit was to observe the management of the Diepwalle Estate.

The Diepwalle Estate is situated in the center of approximately 45 000 ha of forest land. The Estate has approximately 20 000 ha of land, of which 1000 ha constitutes fynbos. The Diepwalle forest station remains open 7 days a week.

During the December holidays, approximately 30 to 35 000 people visit the Diepwalle Estate. Places visited by tourists on the Estate includes, the Garden of Eden and the Big Tree. The Estate also hosts events such as cycle tours on its cycle trail. DWAF officials informed the Committee that Diepwalle Forest Station is the largest Forest Station in South Africa and hosted the recording of Fiela se Kind (a South African film) featuring one of South Africa’s famous actors, Dalene Mathee during the apartheid era. The roads running into the estate are also used for television commercials during the year.

    1. Staff Complement
    2. The Diepwalle Forestry Station has approximately 75 posts of which 40 is occupied. The following table represents the staff compliment at the forestry station only, of which other posts are occupied by field/site workers.





      Estate Manager




      Assistant Forester



      1 White/1 Black

      Senior Administrative Assistant




      Administrative Assistant








    3. Diepwalle Community
    4. The Diepwalle community consists of approximately 160 people, of which only 50 are employed. In one case the Committee heard that in the houses of Diepwalle one family living in a house consists of 10 people and the home has only one income. With the salary paid by Forestry these people cannot survive and mothers are therefore forced to go and work. These mothers have to leave home early in the morning to reach their workplaces and return home very late at night, often not having transport and having to walk home. Recently, contract work was arranged for the mothers, and many of the children had nobody to care for them during the day. In some cases, children were left alone at home, some locked out of their houses, and there was a situation where a child of 2 years old was locked into the house for the whole day. This had DWAF realize how desperate these mothers were and approximately 5 months ago (March 2004) a crèche was opened for the children.

    5. Diepwalle Crèche
    6. From the houses built by DWAF one of the houses was identified as a crèche. Seven children between the ages of 2 to 5 were enrolled immediately, with 3 being enrolled shortly afterwards. DWAF officials reported that they have 9 children from Buffelsnek (SAFCOL), who can use the facility, but have no transport. DWAF is struggling to arrange transport for these children with the school bus, and have recently started to negotiate with the Department of Education for transport.

      The crèche project has been financed by the community through fundraising and hard work. The crèche is also sponsored by the local people, Pick & Pay in George who supplies bread for the soup kitchen, and Fruit & Veg in Knysna who sponsors vegetables and fruit. In addition a soup kitchen has also been opened at Buffelsnek school and the same is provided for the community as for the community in the forest village.

      1. DWAF officials reported the following problems with regards to the crèche:

      1. DWAF officials reported the following successes with regards to the crèche:

  1. Harvesting of Seven Weeks Fern (Rumohra adiantiformis) from the Natural Forests in the Southern Cape

The harvesting of ferns on an economic scale from natural forests in the Southern Cape dates as far back as 1970 when private landowners were issued permits to harvest small quantities of ferns on their land for the local flower market. These licensed suppliers could not meet the increasing demand for fern fronds, resulting in the escalation of illegal harvesting on State forest land.

In 1982 4 000 ha of State forest land was released for commercial harvesting of ferns for the European market when tenders were invited to harvest for a 1 year period. The rapid growth of the industry and the employment opportunities created, resulted in major economic benefits for the region, and by 1989 20 000 ha of State forest land was subject to fern harvesting.

However, little was known about the ecology and dynamics of the species when commercial harvesting commenced to guide planners and managers to enforce measures to ensure the sustainable harvesting of the species. In 1983 a research programme was initiated to gain more information on the ecology, dynamics, phenology and demography of the species and its response to harvesting. This resulted in the initial picking rotation of five weeks gradually being increased as research results became available to the current 15 months. Initial results from intensive monitoring since commercial harvesting started, indicates that the current levels of harvesting is sustainable and that fluctuations in yield could be attributed to natural trends.

    1. Target groups
    2. Target groups are the unemployed, previously disadvantaged individuals, especially women, living in close proximity of the natural forests of the Goudveld section of Farleigh Forest Estate. Fifteen individuals were identified by the existing Farleigh PFM forum through the PFM structures to participate and benefit from the project.


    3. Processes and procedures followed to implement the project, entailed the following:
      1. Selection of participants
      2. Communities closest to the Goudveld forests were earmarked as beneficiaries to the project. The communities included communities from Keurhoek, "Lapland" and "Nuwe Gedeelte". Approximately 15 people benefited from the project and the 3 areas were "awarded" participants in relation to their population size. Existing community structures (local leaders) together with PFM forum members devised a representative composition for each area, taken into consideration gender and specifically targeting the poor.




      3. Price structure

The minimum tariff prescribed for ferns are R3. 00 per armload, and the quantity thus not clearly defined. It was decided to give the project a "once off harvest", giving consideration to a second rotation harvest at a later stage. It was determined that a team of 15 pickers can earn R35.00 per day if each picker earns R0.07per leaf harvested. It was decided that prospected buyers (flower export companies, florists, etc.) must pay at least R0.10 per leaf frond in order for the beneficiaries to earn R35.00 per day and for the department to cover overhead costs.

9.3. Key findings

    1. Lessons learned

  1. Khoisan Village Community Project

The Committee visited the Khoisan Village with the objective of observing the practical side of the Nursery Community project initiated by DWAF in joint partnership with the community. DWAF officials informed the Committee that off-cuts from the trees that have been cut is used by the community to make different types of woodcrafts. Examples include: blackwood bowls, honey scoops, goblets, oak-rolling pins etc.

In addition, before harvesting, DWAF allows the community to take out the small plants from the forests, and these plants are then prepared at the nursery by the community and sold by the community. The nursery has a community trust with the members originating from the Tsitsikama area. The members are prominent leaders amongst the community and are chosen to represent the community on the trust. Moneys from the trust are used to assist sports programmes, school projects etc. DWAF depends on the trust budget for money distribution. People from the community are trained by Setas, in areas such as fundraising, awareness programmes, administrative skills (i.e. announcing events, co-coordinating the placing of notices etc.).

10.1. DWAF officials therefore believe that the project:

    1. Analysis of the Nursery Community Project

Although the nursery existed, on the arrival at the Khoisan Village, the Committee was met by only one person (female) who was introduced as being the project co-coordinator. The community, involved in the projects as explained by DWAF officials was not present for the Committee to capture the working of the actual projects by the community. However, the Committee was escorted by DWAF officials and shown completed bowls, roller pins, honey scoops, goblets etc., by the officials of DWAF and the project co-coordinator. The Committee was also escorted by DWAF officials and the project co-coordinator to the nursery to see the plants that are removed from the forests, by the community and cared for at the nursery. Here as well none of the community involved in the projects could be observed and the Committee could not capture the working of the project as explained by DWAF officials.

  1. Storms River Forest Station Site Visit: Storms River Adventures and Tree Top Canopy Tours

The Committee visited Storms River Adventurers and Tree Top Canopy Tours with the objective of observing the joint activities between DWAF and Storms River Adventurers and Tree Top Canopy Tours. In addition, the Committee intended to observe the Bark Harvesting Project as indicated by DWAF in their presentation, and to be informed about sustainable bark harvesting.

11.1. Overview of the joint activities as presented to the Committee

The Committee was informed through a presentation that these joint activities were established in 1998. The activities are based on eco-adventure tourism and have a 10-point commitment statement, which is compatible with environmental issues. Tree top canopy tours are operated in partnership with DWAF and are conducted in such a manner that the trees are not damaged. The activities consist of mountain bike trails (bike riding along these trails), cannoning (water activities and bunji jumping), abseiling, tubing and a woodcutter’s journey.

The Committee was told that in 1998, communities from Storms River were employed to develop products. In addition, forests and rivers was utilised to create additional employment. Communities are employed from five villages around Stormsriver and include, Colestream, Petrusville, Thornim, Mpumele Village and Sandriftridge. Approximately 180 people have been trained in field guiding. Communities develop the basic skills needed in tourism and tour guides. According to the presenter, some of the youth employed by Storms River Adventures have over the past few years, obtained employment in Dubai through the skills that they had developed.

In addition, they also have a canopy tour and recommended black-water tubing as being one of their main products. The canopy tour is based on a concept from Costa Rica, and is done in an environmentally free manner, bringing in more tourists and creating more employment. Storms River Adventures is ranked on the BEE scorecard with approximately 86 points. In addition, employment was created through the opening of a kitchen, where ladies from the community provides refreshments and meals. The kitchen sells approximately 28 000 meals per annum.

      1. Questions raised by the Committee

        1. Responses to the questions of the Committee

  1. George/Eden: Presentation of Sanitation Project to Committee
  2. The objective of the Committees visit to George was to be informed through presentations with the water and sanitation project presently underway in the Eden District. The Committee was welcomed to George by the Mayor Mr. Andy Lamont who gave the Committee a brief overview about the water and sanitation conditions in Eden; the sanitation project was presented by Mr. Faan van der Merwe, the project co-coordinator.



    1. Water and Sanitation overview

Eden is situated along the garden route stretching from George into the Klein Karoo. The Klein Karoo being the area that is highly scarce in water resources.

According to the Mayor, the Eden District Municipality is meeting its targets in service delivery. With its money coming from the Consolidated Municipal Fund and DWAF, in August 2004, 1514 VIP toilets have been completed. The Mayor stated that it is envisaged that by November 2004 a total number of 3500 VIP toilets will have been completed in Eden.

The Mayor however, stated that, in Uniondale a settlement not far from George, the Municipality is experiencing problems in delivering water to the people. According to the Mayor, "just to lay the pipeline into the area has been very problematic with lots of red tape, the people of Uniondale could have had water supplied to them more than six months ago, but every six weeks there is a hitch in the process".

Water, intended to supply Uniondale, comes from the Harlem Dam, which also partly supplies the Harlem area with water. However, the ownership of the Dam is divided between different role-players, for example, the municipality, DWAF and farmers. This causes lots of discrepancies in creating the pipeline. The pipeline will supply 86 homes with some homes having approximately five children per household, a school with approximately 150 pupils in Uniondale with water. However, the Mayor is optimistic that these problems will be sorted out and that water will be supplied to Uniondale by December 2004.

The Mayor informed the Committee that a reservoir in Uniondale has been identified, to build houses for a certain number of people, with the required infrastructure to make it possible for these people to have access to the basic water and sanitation services. In addition, Zoar, a town not far from George, still uses the bucket system. Nothing has been done to provide the town with water and sanitation. However, the Mayor on the successes achieved by the Municipality wishes to extend the help of the Municipality to other Municipalities in other Provinces who are busy struggling to provide water and sanitation to its people.

      1. Recommendation made by the Mayor

The Mayor recommended that services for the people be decentralized for example, the Home Affairs offices is situated in George, people from Uniondale wishing to get to Home Affairs for example to register a birth have to pay R70 in transport, and these people only earn a salary of approximately R150.00 per week. This places more burdens on these people in terms of poverty and survival. If services for the people are decentralized, it would make living for the people much more convenient.

    1. Presentation: Sanitation Project

Information gathered for water services development during 2000 showed that a total of 3791 households in particularly the Klein Karoo, which forms part of the Eden District did not have adequate sanitation. A structural approach including both technical and social operations in terms of the provision of sanitation to farm dwellers was considered and eventually instituted by the Eden District Municipality. Also needed was a strategic approach in terms of conducting participating hygiene and sanitation training (PHAST) for farm dwelling communities prior to the provision of sanitation units. It was also agreed that peer educators from the communities be trained to assist health officials with the training of the various communities.

The vast implementation area and the pressing need for sanitation facilities asked for new ideas, innovative thinking and planning. After careful consideration of the different practical ways of construction and bearing all other constraints in mind, it was decided to provide toilets from lightweight prefabricated concrete panels (commonly known as VIP’s). The presenter acknowledged the following advantages of the VIP toilets as:

It was estimated that with the necessary groundwork, approximately 15 to 20 units (toilets) could be constructed per day. The project would take 6 months to complete i.e. from September 2003 to February 2004. A total budget of R2.6 million for the first phase and the number of toilets to be constructed during the first phase should be 1152. Labour intensive construction methods would be used and the toilets would be constructed by local small emerging contractors.

12.2.1. Roles and responsibilities:

The Eden District Municipality will fund the project, monitor the project, approve budgets for implementation, procure pre-fabricated units and equipment and provide feedback to DWAF.

DWAF will approve the business plan, provide funding, provide guidelines for groundwater protocol, provide monthly progress reports, and give variation order approval. The contractor will determine the salary and labour standards of workers.

It was also decided that there will be a special project steering committee, which will monitor the project as a whole, appoint the contractors, approve the budget for implementation and provide feedback to DWAF. In addition, the project agent, Vela VKE Engineers, would co-ordinate the management of the project, provide in service training and capacity building of key personnel, train small contractors and supervise the technical and social implementation.

The Committee was informed that:

The Committee informed the presenters that they will not give their views and opinions on the presentations made, as the Committee had arrived in George from their previous visits very late. The Committee will however, ask questions, and give their views and opinions to the presenters the following day, when making site visits to some of the areas mentioned in the presentations.

  1. Day 3: Visit to the Farm Dweller Sanitation Project at Calitzdorp and the introduction of Geohydrology/groundwater by DWAF
  2. The objective of the visit was to observe the Sanitation Project, which was completed at a farm in Calitzdorp and to be informed by DWAF about geohydrology, better known as groundwater. The Little Karroo Rural Water Supply Scheme utilizes groundwater to supply Dysselsdorp and the rural communities between Dysselsdorp and Calitzdorp, as well as drinking water for livestock. The scheme is the property of DWAF, with Overberg Water appointed for operation purposes according to the guidelines of DWAF.

    1. Geohydrology/groundwater

On route to Calitzdorp, the Committee was introduced to the term groundwater by the officials from DWAF. The Committee was informed that the geology of the area consists predominantly of Table Mountain Group (TMG) sandstone/quartzite and Bokkeveld Group shale and sandstone. These rocks are folded and faulted and are overlain by young reddish coloured Enon Formation conglomerate.

The TMG forms the higher mountains in the area (Swartberg, Kamanassie and Rooiberg Mountains) and the Bokkeveld Group and Ennon Formation the lower areas and hills in the Olifants and Gamka River Valleys. Groundwater is being abstracted from fractured rock aquifers (groundwater transmitted through fractures in rocks, yielding usable quantities of water), located in the TMG rocks in which highest yields and better water quality are obtained.

Up to the beginning of 1998, 18 boreholes were used and another 15 were used as non-pumping monitoring boreholes. The number of active production boreholes has since been reduced to 9. Water abstracted from the boreholes is transferred via pipeline to the two water purification works situated in Calitzdorp and Dysselsdorp. PVC pipes are used because of the corrosive nature of the water. At the purification works the water undergoes the following processes:

The water then flows to the different reservoirs and distribution points. Water flows for most of the time under the influence of gravity through the pipe system over a total length of approximately 365 km.

The Committee was also informed about the monitoring processes in place in terms of groundwater abstraction, groundwater chemistry, the practical abstraction process, and how the abstraction rate is determined. In addition, the Committee was told that the scheme currently subsidizes the water for domestic consumption and excessive usage is discouraged. A sliding scale tariff system for water payments is utilized to stop water wastage. As long as a family keeps within the planned usage per household per month, the water is very affordable. The water becomes much more expensive if more than the planned usage is used. Water for stock watering is not subsidized, and sold at full operating cost.

The Committee was also informed that the Little Karoo Rural Water Supply Scheme is the largest water supply scheme in South Africa that abstracts water from fractured rock aquifers.

13.2. Area visited by the Committee

The Committee requested that DWAF officials provide a brief explanation of the area that the Committee will be visiting. In addition the Committee requested that acronyms not be used when making presentations or giving explanations to the Committee.

DWAF officials acknowledged their use of acronyms and assured the Committee that they will try to use full sentences. The Committee was informed that the area that they will be visiting forms part of the Klein Karoo, where the Committee will be shown the VIP toilets that were completed on a farm. The area is very dry with very little surface water and for this reason groundwater is the main source of provision. The Water is clean and disease free (potable water) as the water undergoes the normal cleaning procedures. The water is extracted from the ground (deep ground water) so as not to have an impact on agriculture. A policy was implemented by DWAF and the farmers, whereby water is given to the farmers, who in turn, deliver the water to the farm workers and livestock. DWAF is in the process of transferring the scheme to local government, as this is a non-core function.

There are also farm schools and local schools in the area, of which farmers donated land to build farm schools, DWAF will supply the water and sanitation, but the responsibility to ensure that schools gain access to water remains with the Department of Education.

      1. Questions raised by the Committee

        1. Reponses by DWAF

    1. Outeniqua Pass Groundwater Project
    2. On route to Calitzdorp, the Committee was introduced to a possible project, which will be undertaken by DWAF to see whether water can be drawn from the aquafirs, in the mountains. The Committee was informed that the mountains has a fracture drop, which extends from the Outeniqua Pass, through Citrusdal and into Port Elizabeth and also into Cape Town. These rock fractures in the mountains contain a vast amount of water.

      The Cedarberg Mountains, which extends into Port Elizabeth, for example contains a vast amount off hidden water. This water, according to Mike Smart and Jannie van Staden, is not only at surface depth, but also at the bottom of the ground. The rocks also have vast amounts of fracturing and it is here where lots of water is stored. DWAF therefore needs to look into this, and see if water is drawn from these mountains, how it will affect the ecosystem.

      The Committee was informed that the Cape Town Municipality is busy doing a pilot project in Oudtshoorn, to establish if ground water is drawn to the surface, what types of effects it will create.

      1. Responses and concerns of Committee

        1. Responses by DWAF

The groundwater in the Western Cape does not experience high intensities of fluoride. However, DWAF is aware of the high intensities of fluoride and iron in groundwater, however, concrete solutions to these problems have not as yet been achieved. DWAF is however sure those possibilities do exist to cure these problems.

Because of ground water reticulation, the interpretations of studies are based on geology. It is always difficult to do studies underground, and therefore interpretations of studies are accumulated from surface observations and through this attempts are made to interpret what is happening underground.

The Committee was informed that the CSIR had set up networks to monitor procedures. It is estimated that ground water lies approximately 5 kilometers below the earth’s surface. The Oudtshoorn Municipality will therefore use the pilot project as a study to see if water can be drawn from the ground, what effects it has on surface water, as surface water are used extensively for agricultural purposes. Therefore monitoring systems will have to be put into place to monitor the project.

  1. Farm Dweller Sanitation at Calitzdorp

14.1. The Committee was interested to know how the community was involved in the processing of the VIP toilets, especially, their role in the decision making process.

DWAF officials informed the Committee that a meeting was first held with the local farmers ward where the idea was relayed to them. A meeting was then called between the farmers and farm workers and a liaison committee was formed, and the implementation of the project was agreed upon.

The farmers would identify the houses on the farms where the VIP toilets were to be set up. An environmentalist was called in to do an environmental impact assessment. Thereafter, it was advertised for tenders and local contractors to put up the units (VIP’s). The local community is being used to set up these VIP’s and this creates employment. The units cost approximately R55.00 per unit.

Holes are dug on the farms, and if the hole is okay, these holes are filled with bags and rocks and the units are placed on these holes. On completion, the community are given training around health issues, by a peer training educator who is identified by the farmer, who in turn uses those that has been trained to train others as well, and then plays the role of co-coordinator and monitor.

The project at Zoar however, is incomplete, with some communities having access to drinking water via communal taps while others do not have. Communities in Zoar are still using the bucket system as no VIP toilets have been placed there as yet.

14.1.1. Challenges identified by DWAF officials include:

      1. Concerns and responses of the Committee

The Committee was concerned that getting women involved in processes still remains an issue. Is there enough being done to get women involved, or is nothing just being done at all? The notion of wanting to transfer monies to farmers remains an issue. Can farmers be allowed to control Government finances? The Committee also finds it strange that the farmer can find ways and means to provide his household with flush toilets and inside taps, but finds it difficult to provide this to his workers.

DWAF is saying that the land around is barren and that there is not enough water. Does this mean that there is not enough water for everybody, or for only a selected few? The Committee finds it strange that water cannot be provided for sanitation, but somehow, there is water to feed into the communal taps.

The Committee feels that water is a national resource and this allows everybody equal access to water. The water should not be considered as being for farmers use alone.

    1. Community Project: Gamka Wes – Calitzdorp

The Committee was taken to a farm and shown a sanitation project that has been completed by DWAF officials. The VIP toilets are situated on the outside of the house, with a latrine (toilet pot), on the inside, attached to a hole at the bottom. The toilet has open spaces at the top that allows for ventilation.

The communal taps are also situated outside the house, with one communal tap per household. The Committee was informed that the Overberg Water Board operates the scheme, which is subsidized by DWAF. This however, will change once these schemes are transferred to the municipalities. It is envisaged that the end users will then pay for the water that they use.

Present on the farm was some of the farming community who lived in adjacent houses where the Committee was shown the pilot project. This created an opportunity for the Committee to pose questions to the community.

14.2.1. Questions posed by the Committee to the community included: Responses of the Community

The responses of the communities present varied significantly, however the Committee was informed that there are approximately 12 families living on each farm. Some houses have 4 people per family, where in others one could find close to 8 people living in a house.

Although the community is happy that they are provided with water, the problem is that the taps are outside the house, and when it rains they have to go out to fetch water. Sometimes it rains so hard that they are drenched when fetching water and are exposed to illnesses such as flu.

The toilets are also problematic in the sense that it is situated outside the house and they have to move from inside to the outside to use the toilet. At night, this is a problem because it is dark, and there is no lighting on the farm and people have to grope around in the dark to reach the toilet. The tap is also far from the toilet and they just have to ignore washing their hands and this is also unhealthy, especially for their children. One gentlemen informed the Committee that he is very unhappy that his wife must be exposed to such conditions, but this takes away her dignity, where he at times feels so bad that he walks into the field to go and relieve himself.

The Committee also found out that one of the houses on the farm has a flush toilet. This house the Committee was informed belongs to the foreman of the farm. The Committee was informed that the foreman’s mother used to work for the previous owner of the farm as a domestic and he had the toilet installed for her. The Committee was informed by the community that there is pipelines hat supplies water running past the farms from the Overberg Mountains, but the farmer does not want to have extensions from his farm to the pipeline fitted to supply water to the farm. The farmer is happy drawing water from the borehole to supply the farm-workers with water.

The Community felt threatened when the farmer arrived at the farm and informed the Committee that they could not speak to the Committee with the farmer present, as they would be victimized by the farmer once the Committee had left. The Chairperson assured the workers that they have the full support of the Committee if they are victimized by the farmer and should not hesitate to contact the Committee if they were victimized. A contact number was forwarded to one of the community members present.

15. Departure to Heidelberg

The Committee departed for Heidelberg with one of the objectives being to capture the conditions of the people living in Zoar, who currently still use, the bucket system. The other objective was to be informed by the Overberg Water Board, on the progress made in terms of free basic water and sanitation to the people. However, with limited time in hand, and the long bus trip to Heidelberg, the Committee decided not to stop at Zoar, but to proceed directly to Heidelberg.

On route to Heidelberg, Zoar was shown to the Committee by DWAF officials. DWAF officials reminded the Committee that Zoar, still has no proper sanitation in place and still uses the bucket system. Zoar is home to about 450 people who are mostly unemployed. The Committee was also shown a town called Amalienstein and was informed that most of the town had RDP houses with potable water and sanitation.


15.1. Concerns and Questions raised by the Committee

The Committee was interested to know why Zoar is still using the bucket system, and what is being done to change this. In addition, DWAF mentioned that most of the people are unemployed. The Committee wanted to know whether no community projects was conducted in Zoar because this could in some way help people to earn a living. The Committee was also concerned about the health of the people of Zoar, because without proper water and sanitation people and especially children remain vulnerable to diseases.

15.1.2.Responses by DWAF

DWAF officials informed the Committee that one of the reasons for Zoar not having proper water infrastructure was due to a flood which occurred in January 2004 most of the pipeline which supplies water to Zoar was washed away. A recurring flood in March 2004 washed away another part of the pipeline. The Municipality installed a temporary plastic pipeline to supply water to Zoar. DWAF officials informed the Committee that approximately R13 million is needed to eradicate the bucket system in Zoar. The Committee was also informed that the Kanaland Municipality has no funds to install proper sanitation facilities.

DWAF officials also informed the Committee that at present there are basic health care services in Zoar. There is also a primary health care facility for the people of Zoar. The town also has two people working on home-based care services. People are given voluntary counseling about the Aids pandemic, and mother to child transmission services are also done.

    1. Heidelberg: Overberg Water Board

The Committee met a delegation of the Overberg Water Board in Heidelberg who informed the Committee through their presentation of the current issues at the institution.

The Overberg Water Board is the only Water Board in the Western Cape. Although the Overberg Water Board cannot be compared to the Rand Water Board, it is equally important in terms of service delivery.

The Overberg Water Board is proud of its transformation achievements in terms of equity, with the Board as well as its staff. The Board is also proud of its transformation processes and has fared well over the past years. It has a proud record in terms of skills development and staff capabilities ad is proud of the results of its restructuring. The Board has a bad legacy in terms of its financial position, where in the past the Board was lying close to bankruptcy, but this has changed significantly over the past years and the Board now has a positive financial position.

15.2.1.The Future role of the Overberg Water Board

The Overberg Water Board is a market leader of its sector in the region. It has the basic systems and structures in place (management and other structures) for water services delivery that has the potential to expand. The Overberg Water Board leads discussions in institutional reform i.e. future transformation, efficient and effective delivery of quality water services. The Overberg Water Board has a purification plant and it is the first purification plant in the Overberg region, however, it needs upgrading. The Overberg Water Board is the leader in the whole of the Western Cape regarding delivery in the Working for Water Programme (WFW).

The Overberg Water Board foresees itself in a significant role as service provider fro Catchment Management Agencies (CMA’s), including amongst others, the management of rivers, dams and other resources. It also sees itself as and important provider of services to DWAF.

15.2.2. The nature of the Schemes of Overberg Water

Overberg still plans to grow. It has an imaginative management team, and good development of secondary activities.

        1. Challenges Questions and concerns raised by the Committee

The Committee acknowledges the achievements that Overberg has raised to the Committee, however, the Committee is concerned that the present representation of the Overberg officials shows the Committee that they are not gender sensitive, as there seems to be no women present in the delegation as outlined. This raises cause for concern, as Overberg stated that it is proud of its transformation. The Committee needs to know why Overberg has a debt of R35 million and what mechanisms are in place to overcome the debt.

In addition, the Committee would also like to know from Overberg, what is the progress in terms of the free basic service delivery policy? The Committee also wants to know if there is any other areas that has the bucket system in place? The Committee also needs to know whether farmers in the region buy quotas, and whether they pay tariffs during the dry season? The Committee needs to know how the water is allocated for agricultural purposes and domestic use?

The Committee informed Overberg that the Working for Water Project was initiated in Genadendal some time ago, and the Committee would like to know what happened to the project. Responses by Overberg

The top management structures of Overberg consist of 7 councilors of which 1 is female and 6 male. Overberg officials present informed the Committee that they are unclear as to the gender representiveness of the Institution and could not inform give the Committee the true reflection of the situation at present.

Overberg Officials informed the Committee that in the past there were not enough reserves (finances) to allocate to the upgrading of the Overberg region. Ten years ago the scheme that is now in place was a Government scheme and made no provision for reserves. Overberg has tried to turn this around through tariffs. Ten years ago, the schemes cost Overberg approximately R70 million when handed over to the Water Board. The then Water Board negotiated a take over price of approximately R40 million, and over the last ten years Overberg has slowly attempted to pay off this debt. Overberg will submit an application to DWAF and to the Treasury to write off this debt, and then lend Overberg the money again, to use to the advantage of Gendendal to eradicate the bucket system.

Overberg officials informed the Committee that the municipality makes arrangements for free basic service delivery. It is not the duty of Overberg to ensure that the people have free basic services. Theewaterskloof municipality ensures free basic service delivery to every household within its jurisdiction. Free basic service provision does not apply to service providers but to water associations. In terms of other area’s in the region that is using the bucket system, Overberg was not sure, but indicated that there could be.

Overberg informed the Committee that farmers do not buy quotas for water but applies for their water. Overberg then manages the allocation of water by keeping the water at a constant level through hydraulic pressure. Tariff structures are based on how efficient farmers use the water.

On the Working for Water Project in Genadendal, Overberg firstly wishes to inform the Committee that Overberg is the best service provider for the Working for Water Programme, however, the WFW project stopped in Genadendal due to unforeseen circumstances. In terms of water provision, the Committee was informed that 60% of the water is allocated to farmers, 20% for domestic use, and the other percentages are allocated to SAM and stock farming.

  1. Arabella Water Recycling

The objective of the Committees visit to the Arabella Golf Estate was to be informed through a presentation of the water recycling systems in place at the estate.

Representatives of the Arabella Country Estate informed the Committee that the Estate was built in 1995, on an old piece of farmland in Kleinmond, with a water sewerage works, water treatment works and a golf estate. The Arabella Estate is part of the Shukuba Group of Companies and invests approximately R1 million per year in the country.

The estate alone creates about 250 jobs for people from the immediate surroundings. With the construction of houses from a new development, the Arabella has created approximately 1000 jobs also for people and builders from the surrounding communities.

The Committee was informed that the Arabella has a sustainable development plan. It attracts healthy tourism throughout the year, although it attracts more tourists at during the summer holidays. It is the only golf course, which is self-sustainable, with its own water supply, and the Arabella has good quality water. The Arabella is famous for hosting the Nelson Mandela Trophy (golf tournament).

The Arabella receives its water from the Hermanus River, which constantly dries up during summer. Water is therefore mostly extracted during winter via a pipeline, which runs directly from the river. The Arabella also makes use of boreholes and surface storage water which is treated at the Estate’s own water reservoir. Water is continuously recycled and treated at the Estate’s water treatment works and therefore water is not wasted at the Arabella.

Boreholes are continuously monitored through data reading, which is very important. The Arabella also makes use of groundwater, which is extracted from fractures between the rocks in the surrounding mountains. An immense amount of iron is found in the water; therefore the Arabella relies on its water treatment works where the water that is extracted is treated.

Ground water has the following positives:

The Committee was informed that the Arabella pours back into the community through:

Representatives of Arabella informed the Committee that they are in the process of constructing a new borehole in the surrounding mountains which is done through aquifers, where fractures are identified in the mountain rocks, and in these fractures, drilling takes place and boreholes are created here water will be extracted to supply the Estate. Representatives of the Arabella informed the Committee through presentation about the logistics of the whole process.

Because the Committee arrived at the Arabella Estate very late in the evening, from Helderberg, the Committee felt that they had been through a tough day, and that they would appreciate it if the representative of the Estate could visit Parliament to give the Committee an informed presentation of the envisaged water supply area that the Arabella wishes to create in the mountain area. The Committee will extend an invitation to the Arabella, when the Committee arrives back at Parliament in Cape Town.





  1. Day 4: Theewaterskloof Dam visit

The objective of the visit by the Committee to the Dam, firstly, was to observe the low levels of water that the dam contains at present. Secondly, the objective was to be informed about how the dam functions in its supply and demand areas.

The Theewaterskloof Dam is the largest storage dam of the Western Cape Water System. It is filled by runoff from its own catchments and by the diversions during the winter months of the Wolwekloof and Banhoek Rivers into the Riviersonderend-Berg River Tunnel System. In future it will also receive water pumped during the winter months from the proposed Berg River Dam at Skuifram.

The main irrigation demands from Theewaterskloof Dam comprises the following:

17.1. Overview of the Theewaterskloof Dam

On arrival at the Theewaterskloof Dam, DWAF the Committee was informed that the dam holds approximately 4,8 million cubic metres of water. The Committee was shown the level of the dam currently, and what the dam level should be if the dam is completely filled with water. At the time of the visit the dam was approximately one third of its normal capacity. This according to DWAF officials was a major concern, as dams at such levels causes problems when needing to supply the greater Cape Town community with water. If the dam and surrounding dams do not fill up due to the shortage of rains at present, DWAF and the City of Cape Town Would have no other alternative but to apply water restriction measures.

The Committee was also shown the reddish colour of the water in the dam, and was informed that because of the colour of the water, which represents the colour of rooi-bos tea, the dam was named Theewaterskloof Dam.

The Committee was taken to the dam’s main pumping station and introduced to the logistics of the pumping station by an official from DWAF.

17.1.2.Questions raised by the Committee

17.1.3. Responses by DWAF

    1. Franschoek Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA)

The objective of the Committees visit was to be informed firstly about the progress made in terms of the construction of the Berg River Dam. Secondly, to observe the Working for Water Programme, and determine its achievements thus far.

      1. Berg Water Project

The Department of Water Affairs & Forestry (DWAF) has been involved in a 14-year process that led to the decision to implement the Berg Water Project (BWP).

It started with the Western Cape Systems Analysis (WCSA) in 1989, to determine the future needs and water resources available in the region, and was subjected to a rigorous public-participation process and debate, after which a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued in 1999 by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT).

In December 2001, the Minister was satisfied that appropriate progress regarding water demand management had been made by the City of Cape Town (CCT), and in April 2002, the Cabinet approved the implementation of the BWP. On 6 May 2002, the Minister of Water Affairs & Forestry directed TCTA in terms of section 103(2) of the National Water Act, 1998, to fund and implement the BWP as the agent for DWAF.

The BWP is designed to overcome the impending water shortage in the CCT and for agricultural water usage supplied from the Riviersonderend-Berg River Government Water Scheme. It is the first bulk water resource development project that is directly linked to water demand management. The existing components of the Western Cape Water System (WCWS), including the addition of the Berg River Dam (BRD), are depicted in the diagram below. The BWP will increase the yield of the WCWS by 81 million cubic metres or 18% to 523 million cubic metres a year by 2007.


This project is an important benchmark of TCTA’s success. The full responsibility for implementation and funding rests with TCTA and, unlike LHWP, this project will be funded without Government guarantees. The groundbreaking agreements between TCTA and DWAF, and DWAF and the City of Cape Town (CCT) were signed on 15 April 2003. The two agreements were:

These are the first public-public agreements of their kind in South Africa that guarantee service delivery between public entities. The agreements provide a sound basis to obtain a favourable credit rating for the project and offer a model to other similar projects in Africa.

The design and supervision consultants were appointed in December 2002. An agreement was reached with the consultants and DWAF whereby DWAF staff could be seconded to the consultants with the aim of transferring commercial skills and capacity. Although this arrangement was not fully exploited due to changes in DWAF staffing, it provided a sound basis for future capacity building on similar projects. Since the review and approval of the appropriate dam type, TCTA has completed the design of advanced infrastructure development, compiled a shortlist of pre-qualified construction contractors for the Berg River Dam (BRD) and issued tender documents to them. The tender-evaluation process is under way. The award of the BRD construction contract should be completed by the end of May 2004. Construction should start by June 2004. The construction of the advanced infrastructure will also be completed during this year.

A decision on the timing of implementation of the Supplement Scheme will be taken during the next financial year. Further investigation is required on the impact it may have on the salinity and water quality in the Berg River. Examination of the extent of the original environmental approval issued in 1999 indicated that additional Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) were required for the advanced infrastructure components such as housing and access roads.

The DWAF Construction Unit was appointed to implement the advanced infrastructure construction and mobilised in January 2004. The participation of DWAF was agreed at Board level and flows from the directive issued by the Minister to utilise DWAF technical resources. It also allowed TCTA to make up time lost in obtaining the additional environmental approvals mentioned above. Both the financial value and additional risks, by not transferring risks to the contractor, are within an acceptable limit.

The process of preparation, approval and inception of an integrated Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was the focus of socioenvironmental

activities during the year under review. Following the July 2003 endorsement of the EMP by the Environmental Monitoring Committee (EMC) – a representative forum of interested and affected parties – the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) gave its approval in October 2003. This facilitated the start of the construction of project.

The EMC brought the issue of individual liability to the fore and this led to the re-naming of the committee (from ‘management’ to ‘monitoring’), while the entire liability issue has been taken up by Government. The decision will affect the role of all similar bodies on future projects. An independent EMC secretariat that will operate in a self-regulatory framework has been established in the La Motte Village near Franschhoek. It will include the Environmental Control Officer (ECO)

who reports to the EMC? The ECO will monitor compliance policies and


TCTA approached development-financing institutions to provide long-term funding for the project. Following various reviews (technical, environmental, financial, governance, etc) the funding was approved subject to a guarantee. The development-funding agency believes that the project could provide an example and break new ground in the way it is implemented. Going forward, TCTA will address:

The Committee was taken to the offices of TCTA, where they were introduced to the project through a model, which was displayed in the office of the TCTA. The Committee was shown the development around the various catchment areas, which would supply the dam for example, the Assegaai Bos Dam, which is situated in between the mountain and was never developed. This is a very large water catchment area.

The Committee was also shown control point areas, which will be used, and these are, Klein Plaas Dam, with in-points in Wolwekloof and Waanhoek.

17.2.2.Questions raised by the Committee

The Committee requested TCTA to provide an explanation as to the situation of small emerging farmers. In addition, the Committee wished to know how many small emerging farmers is being served, or will be served on the completion of the project? Responses by TCTA

The Committee was informed that not enough small emerging farmers are being served. However, there are some projects underway to include small emerging farmers.

The Committee left the offices of the TCTA, for a site visit of the Berg River Project, however, because of the rain, the Committee could not enter the site. The Committee was shown the Berg River project on route to a site visit on the Working for Water Project.

  1. The Working for Water Programme

The Committee was informed that then Minister For Water Affairs and Forestry, Minister Kader Asmal, initiated the Programme in October 1995 with a grant of R25 million from the RDP fund. The programme would protect the water resource of the country from the rapid spread of invasive alien vegetation, with the added social benefit of employing the poorest of the poor to do the work through mainly manual labour. The programme has since grown to the most successful poverty alleviation programme of the Government and has won several awards including some international conservation awards.

    1. The Assegaaibos Working for Water Project

The Committee was informed that the upper reaches of the Berg River has always been a very important source of water for primary use in the Cape Peninsula and also for irrigation in the very fertile Berg River Valley, well known for some of the world’s best wines. Over and above the water benefit the upper catchment area is also a very important bio-diversity hotspot.

All these factors contributed to the start of the Assegaaibos Working for Water Project in 2000. Most of the State owned land in this catchment was used by the then SAFCOL forestry. A partnership between DWAF and SAFCOL started the project with 8 contractors and approximately 96 workers.

The project has since spent more than R4 million in the catchment clearing and following – up more than 4000 hectares. Of the money spent more than 60% was spent on the workers.

In 2004 the project took a historic turn when TCTA with the support of the City of Cape Town, agreed to contribute R21 million to the project in the next eight years in an effort to control the spread of invading alien plants in the catchment. This means that the project will now have an annual budget of more than R5 million per year, employing more than 200 people. The project staff consists of 2 project managers, a quality controller and an administrator.

The Working for Water Programme forms part of Governments extended Public Works Programme and exit contractors and workers after a two-year employment period and the required training of 48 days. This is to support the development of independent contractors/entrepreneurs who can compete for work in the open market. Training includes:

The Committee was also informed that work in the Assegaaibos project is extremely difficult due to steep slopes, mountains and the heritage of a forestry plantation. This is coupled to environmental conditions of extreme heat and cold. This requires special teams who can camp out in the mountains; abseil the rock faces and conquer the elements to eradicate the invasive alien plant species. All clearing in the area is done on a contract basis. Teams obtain a clearing contact and get paid when the area is cleared to the required standard. The programme also ensures that workers are protected by the highest standard of health and safety.

The Committee was also shown on site training which people of the community was receiving for the housing complex that would be built as part of the development of the Dam. Workers were given in the site training in bricklaying, plastering and construction of the types of houses that would be developed in the area.

The Committee also had the chance to speak to workers who was employed in the Working for Water Programme.

      1. Questions asked by the Committee of the workers

The overall questions from the Committee was the happiness of employment of the workers, whether they were happy with the types of skills training they were receiving, whether they were happy that the project is successful. Responses by the Workers

The overall feeling of workers was that they were happy with the work that they were doing, with the skills training that they were receiving. The only concern was that as the Committee could see it was raining outside and that in such conditions it was very dangerous to work out in the mountains.

18.1.3. Concerns of the Committee raised with TCTA

The Committee was concerned that once the houses have been built, then these people would again be unemployed. How will they be able to prove to other employees when seeking employment that they were trained in building skills, because most of these people were uneducated and had no school records. Responses by TCTA

The Committee was informed that they are registered with the Sector Education Training Authority (SETA), and they are given a number of their file held by SETA, whereby they can when seeking employment obtain the required information from SETA to prove to employers that they were trained and had worked on the project.


  1. Boland District Council-Stellenbosch
  2. The objective of the visit to Stellenbosch, was to gather information on the progress made by the municipality in delivering water and sanitation to the people of Boland.

    The Committee arrived in Stellenbosch, where the Committee met with the Acting Mayor and some of his officials. The Mayor started his presentation to the Committee by informing the Committee that the building of the Dam was done without the participation of the Communities of Boland.

    The Mayor informed the Committee that the community of the Boland is upset about the building of the Dam as they feel that they are sidelined in terms of employment and participation in decision-making processes. The poor and marginalized are sidelined and the Mayor feels that he needs to bring this to the attention of the Committee as it is the duty of the District to seek help for the people, as it would benefit the community if they could understand what is happening around them

    The Committee intervened in the issues that the Mayor was raising and informed the Mayor that together with TCTA (convene a meeting), they should thrash out the problems that they are experiencing. The Committee informed the Mayor that they are not visiting to solve this types of problems but that the Committee is here to be informed about the progress made to deliver to the people the provision of basic water and sanitation. The Committee would also like to know what progress has been made to eradicate the use of the bucket system if they are still in use in the Boland. The Committee would also like to know what has been achieved to supply these services to the people.

    19.1. The Committee was informed on the conditions in Boland as follows:

    In the former "towns" within the Boland, only Drakenstein and Stellenbosch Municipalities reported to have any buckets still in use. In the case of Drakenstein it was reported that 50 buckets were still in use in Saron and 130 in Wellington. Funds are available and these buckets will be eradicated within this financial year.

    In the case of the Stellenbosch Municipality, buckets are still used in Kylemore and Jamestown. Uncertainty does exist over funds allocated by DWAF for the eradication of the bucket system as DWAF funds are now included within the MIG allocations. If these funds are confirmed, all buckets in use will be eradicated within this financial year. This is in contrast to the figures of the 2001 Census and it is therefore assumed that the bucket systems still operational during 2001 have all been eradicated.

    Municipalities in general do not supply water and sanitation services in the rural areas and the supply thereof is still a debatable issue on private land, especially on farmland. All municipalities within the area have implemented a policy for the provision of free basic water and sanitation in their respective urban areas.

    The Boland District municipality, in an effort to improve the provision of water and sanitation in the rural areas, approved the following policy during 2002. An amount of R 3 000 000 p/a has been spent by the Council on the implementation of the policy while this amount can be multiplied by at least two to get the annual amount spent (farm owners and Council) on improving water supply and sanitation in the rural areas.

  3. Day 5: Khayelitsha: Presentation and site visit with the City of Cape Town

The objective of the Committee was to be informed by officials from the City of Cape Town about its pressure reduction project and to evaluate the pilot sanitation (VIP) project which in underway in the informal settlements of Khayelitsha.

The Committee was taken to the pressure reduction pump station in Khayelitsha, where the Committee was informed that the purpose of introducing the pressure reduction system in Khayelitsha was because of the high rate of water leaks that the area is experiencing. The Committee was taken to the pressure pump and told that during the evenings and at night, the pump is used to release the water flow in the pipelines that supplies water to the area.

Water leaks has always been a problem in Khayelitsha, with lots of water being wasted. This project has thus far proved to be successful in the sense that when the pressure in the pipelines is released, the water flow slows down, and prevents continuous water leaks.

20.1. Questions raised by the Committee

      1. Responses by the City of Cape Town

    1. Khayelitsha site visit: VIP pilot project

The Committee was taken on a site visit. The objective was to observe a completed VIP toilet, which was installed as a pilot project at one of the informal houses in Khayelitsha.

The Committee was shown the completed pilot project (VIP toilet), at one of the informal houses in Khayelitsha. Because informal houses in informal settlements are built quite close to each other, the toilet was situated between quite a few of the informal houses. The Committee also observed piles of solid waste lying around the informal houses, and on the pavement along the road.

20.2.1. Questions raised by the Committee

        1. Responses by the City of Cape Town

Upon questioning some of the community who gathered close by, the Committee was informed that the rubbish has been lying there for quite some time. According to the community the rubbish is not always collected twice a week, and some times lies around for a long time. With the rains over the week, the rubbish spreads everywhere, and causes problems in terms of health, and blocked drains.

The Committee departed to the Faure Water Treatment Plant, with the objective of listening to a speech delivered by Mr. Saleem Mowzer, and also a presentation by the City of Cape Town. The Committee however felt that it was late in the afternoon, and recommended that Mr. Mowzer deliver his speech, and upon an invitation from the Committee the City of Cape Town can do their presentation at Parliament, on a day that will be decided by the Committee. The Committee will inform the City of Cape Town, when they will be able to listen to the presentation.

21. "Water Services Management in the City of Cape Town" by Saleem Mowzer

Trading Services encompasses the directories of Electricity Services, Solid Waste Management and Water Services, including the sanitation function. Its vision is to provide quality, affordable, efficient and sustainable services to all households and consumers in the City of Cape Town.

The city has stark contrasts, but possesses immense development potential. However, the city severely suffers from the effects of decades of apartheid policies, planning and service delivery that have created urban slums, sprawling informal settlements and disparate inequities in service delivery, particularly among underdeveloped and disadvantaged communities.

In line with Government’s vision to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment, we have prioritized the need to overcome these contrasts as a central component of effective leadership and governance in Cape Town and to place the city on a sustainable growth path.

Over the past few years there has been a fundamental rethink of the way in which the water services is managed and delivered. This has been aimed at ensuring greater alignment with national government’s policy and service delivery agenda for the water sector, including:

The City is proactively engaging the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry at a local level through the regional operations headed by Mr. Rashid Khan and at a National level through the strategic engagement and consultation of the Director General, Mr. Mike Muller and Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.

Internally we have ensured the alignment of water services functions with the Council’s Indigent Policy, Equitable Services Framework and Integrated Development Plan. In this respect the tariff is designed to accommodate the needs of low-income households and poor consumers by providing the first six kilolitres of water free, per month. This is consistent with government’s policy on the provision of free basic services.

The remaining tariff structure is broken down as follows. Consumption between:

The progressive nature of the tariff allows for the needs of the poor to be met and discourages excessive consumption.

By the end of September, we hope to be in a position to make a final assessment of dam levels in the Western Cape Water System to inform the severity of restrictions on domestic water consumption. The City will embark on a highly visible and intensive public awareness, user education and media campaign, to support the restrictions.

The development of future water supply options has already commenced through the construction of the Berg River Dam, which the Committee has recently visited. The city is also considering various alternative water resource development and management options, including:

Further with regards to water demand management, earlier today we visited one of Cape Town’s world-class installations, the Khayelitsha Pressure Management Station. This facility represents state of the art technology and international best practice in water pressure management, not to mention the fact that is the largest of its kind in the world. Since being commissioned the project water leakage and the amount of unaccounted for water passing through the City’s water supply system.

International best practice for the amount of unaccounted for water stands at approximately 15% and is held by the Yarro Water Utility of Australia. Through this installation and the maintenance and repair of aged and damaged water fittings Cape Town’s record for unaccounted water stands at around 18%, placing us in a favourable position to narrow in on the international benchmark.

Through this project it is now possible to provide lower water pressures to the Khayelitsha community thus reducing their monthly water consumption to levels to which they can afford. These high pressures previously caused serious damage to the plumbing and reticulation networks in Khayelitsha resulting in household leakage that accounted for more 80% of the non-revenue water supplied to the area.

We are striving to eliminate the existing inequities and inequalities in the delivery of the service, thereby tackling the inequities and inequalities of the city as a whole. We are beginning to turn the tide on decades of sustained under-investment in the water network, particularly the systematic under-investment in un-serviced informal settlements, townships, disadvantaged and underdeveloped communities.

This is being achieved through the provision of basic water, sanitation and sewerage services to informal settlements through the Informal Settlements Upgrading Project. Through the site visit today, you would acquired an appreciation for some of the interventions we have made on the sanitation front through grant funding assistance totaling R52 million from DWAF.

In light of the heavy rainfall we received over the past 24 hours, you would also have been informed through the media and witnessed for yourselves this morning the problem of flooding faced in informal settlements during winter months. This, together with the fact that the upgrading of informal settlements is a moving target due to the constant sprawl of new settlements, demonstrates the need for a coordinated approach for the upgrading of informal settlements. For this reason we have established a dedicated project office that is appropriately staff and resourced.

This project office coordinates with the City’s and the provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Disaster Management function to address flooding and appropriate contingency measures for the 171 informal settlements located within the city. Together these settlements house approximately 520 000 people, many living direct access to safe water and sanitation services.

During this financial here R8, 48 million has been allocated for community water and sanitation supply through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) administered by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, to implement the Informal Settlements Upgrading Plan. In terms of this business plan we are awaiting a response on an additional MIG funding application of R16 million.

The Water Services capital budget for all projects in this financial year totals R257 880 million – a significant increase from previous financial years. This figures is expected to increase to more than R330 million in the 2005\06 financial year and to more than R358 million in the 2006\07 financial year. In terms of water and sewage infrastructure investment, R137, 3 million will be invested during this financial with an additional R11, 3 million for further water supply and sewer extensions yet to be approved through MIG allocations.

In previous financial years the investment into critical water infrastructure and network to support city growth and development, was badly lacking and resulted in sever asset stripping and disinvestments of the network. These factors have resulted in the ageing of the water network without appropriate replacement and upgrading of infrastructure.

In many cases infrastructure component have approached the end of their lifespan, resulting in the high risk of non-compliance with regulated health and environment standards and frequent breakdowns in service delivery.

From the facts and figures, it is clear that over the past 12 months our focus has been to turnaround this high-risk situation through appropriate risk management measures and to move in line with the levels of reinvestment into the water network desired by national government and provide access to water and sanitation to many more residents in terms of government’s water ladder to achieve universal access by 2008.

Another budget feature is that, compared to previous years when the budget was skewed in favour of affluent suburbs and well development areas of the city, this year’s budget is geared toward reducing poverty, inequality, lack of access and poor service delivery in disadvantage communities. It is also aimed at injecting investment into the water network to support city growth and development for economic purposes.

Despite all of this progress and the good work that has commenced, I will be the first to admit that much, much more remains to be done to undo the legacy we inherited in 1994 and which continues to be burdensome on thousand of our people. This is a legacy that we are committed to unwind.

22.Recommendations made by the Committee

The purpose of this section of the report is to provide the recommendations of the Committee on the findings of the study tour. The recommendations constitute the study the study as a whole. To make better sense of this section, it is necessary to consider the whole report.

22.1. Conservation forestry management:

DWAF officials consider as one of its major concerns, that forest’s, are invaded by communities. With invasion trees are felled to build houses, for firewood and agricultural purposes.

The Committee therefore wishes to inform DWAF that globally, people live in or at the edge of forests. They are some of the least privileged groups in our global community. They depend on the forests for many important products and environmental services. These services not only meet their economic needs for food and shelter but also form an integral part of their culture and spiritual traditions.

The Committee therefore recommends that DWAF enhance participation in decision-making and benefit sharing. Technically sound initiatives usually fail to arrest deforestation because they are conceived without the true participation of all interest groups (i.e. communities, and other land users). DWAF must therefore take into account the special interest groups from within the forest sector and the other sectors that share, and at times compete for the same land base.

Of particular importance is deciding on a just formula for sharing in the benefits and responsibilities that derive from using forest resources sustainably as an alternative to deforestation.

    1. Planning and Management of the Southern Cape Forests

Transformation: The Committee expressed concern about gender representativeness by DWAF with their participation in the study tour. The officials of DWAF were all male, and this led the Committee to question DWAF about gender representation in the department. This can be noted in the report. The Committee therefore recommends that DWAF pursue this issue vigorously, and identify the gaps that are in place in terms of gender. More women and especially Black South Africans should be the focus of employment by DWAF.

Black Empowerment: What emerged from the presentations is that the transfer

of forests was only taking place amongst sectors and not considering the poorest

of the poor. The Committee therefore recommends that the poorest of the poor

be empowered when transfers of forests takes place.

Vacant posts: The Committee recommends that the 83 vacant posts should be filled by women as the existing staff component are imbalanced, with very little women and only 11 Black staff members.

22.3. Field Visit: Diepwalle Forestry Estate

Creche: The Committee acknowledges the efforts that DWAF has put into securing a crèche for the children of Diepwalle. However, the Committee recommends that DWAF, works in collaboration with the Department of Education to secure transport for the children. The Committee also notes that there is a need for social development amongst the communities of Diepwalle, in terms of social grants for the children, child support grants, etc. This is a means to alleviate poverty amongst the community. DWAF must ensure that the people of Diepwalle receives education around these issues.


    1. Khoisan Community Project
    2. The Committee recommends that whenever DWAF presents projects to a Committee that when visiting the project sites, communities involved in the projects should be present. The Committee is concerned that that none of the community was present, as it would have been more practical for the Committee to see the community busy with the projects in the way DWAF officials had informed the Committee during their presentation. The Committee also requested to see the financial records kept in terms of the profits and distribution of finances to the various beneficiaries as reported by DWAF officials. DWAF officials had informed the Committee that records of finances are not kept at the office of the co-ordinator, but is kept at the office of the Trust. The Committee therefore recommends, that DWAF officials should ensure that copies of reports of such nature be kept at the office closer to the people for public scrutiny. This would be in accordance with the concept of open and transparent governance. The requests that a copy of the financial report be passed on to the Committee.

    3. Water Supply Calitzdorp
    4. The Committee was concerned when DWAF mentioned that the farmers supplied the land to build farm schools and this creates problems when DWAF wants to provide infrastructure for the basic water service. The Committee informed DWAF that this provides room for debate. If the farmers provided land to build the schools then the land that the school is built on does not belong to the State but to the farmer. In essence there is then no security over the land and neither over the school. The farmer can then turn around and reclaim his land.

      The Committee therefore recommends that DWAF find clarity on this issue, because it can create problems in the long run. DWAF should approach the Government about the issue, and the Government should consider what is good for the children and the people. The Government can negotiate with the farmer and seek the possibility to expropriate the land. DWAF must also consider asking the Department of Education for assistance, together they can look into the matter to see what the long-term solution could be.

    5. Community Project, Gamka Wes, Calitzdorp
    6. The Committee reminded DWAF officials that a groundbreaking policy of the provision of free basic water and sanitation has been implemented and this means that everybody in South Africa has the right to a basic amount of water and a basic amount of sanitation that is affordable. These basic rights should also apply to farm workers, bearing in mind that they have to pay for services where these are provided over and above a basic service.

      In addition, farmers are employers and are responsible for the housing and related services of their employees living on the farms. Farmers are therefore intermediaries and are responsible for the provision of (at least) basic services to farm workers living on their farms. DWAF should therefore reconsider the position that the people on the farms are living in, reconsider the responsibilities that the farmers have towards the people living on their farms, see what is set out in the law, and see that the law is enforced.

    7. The bucket system in Zoar
    8. The Committee felt that not enough was being done by DWAF and the Municipality responsible, to assist the people to acquire the basic povision of water and sanitation.

      The Committee felt that DWAF officials were not responding to the issues at Zoar positively and the Committee was not happy with the way the problems of the people to access proper sanitation and water were addressed. The Committee also felt that it would seem that municipalities are always not having enough money to be able to provide the people with the basic services that are constituted in the Constitution of the country. However, the Committee feels that the municipalities are either not planning there budget accordingly and therefore under spends and the left over money goes as rollovers.

      The Committee recommends that all Water Service Associations do the Section 78 assessments in order to determine gaps and problems they are facing to deliver services to the people. This would therefore allow the council to make informed decisions whether to outsource these functions or to do them in-house.

    9. Overberg Water Board: Bucket system in Genadendal

Firstly, the Committee is concerned when Overberg states that they want to borrow money again for the benefit of Genadendal. Who will have to pay off this debt. Wouldn’t it be the People of Genadendal. The Committee is concerned that the poor must always be the people who have to suffer.

The Committee recommends that Overberg investigate the condition of the bucket system in the whole of its region as the Committee is of the opinion that Overberg should be well informed about these circumstances. Overberg also needs to determine what is the backlog in terms of the Water Service Associations and what has been done in terms of service delivery. Overberg should relook their Water Services Development Plan, because through these plans Overberg can be informed as to what has been done in terms of numbers of provision of services and what is going to be done about it. Water Services Associations can come to the Water Service Providers and together they can make informed decisions as to what is going to be done, whether they are able to provide services to the people or should they consider bringing in contractors to do the work.

22.9. Khayelitsha, Water and sanitation

The Committee acknowledges the plight of the City of Cape Town to reduce the high rate of water leakages in the area. However the Committee is concerned that so many people have not been provided with the basic infrastructure for water and sanitation. The Committee is also concerned that people are sharing these very same facilities. The Committee therefore recommends that the City of Cape Town works towards reducing the numbers of people that are not yet provided with the basic infrastructure for water and sanitation and also the numbers of people sharing these facilities should be reduced. Once people have to share facilities such as water and sanitation, it becomes problematic and will remain a problem.

It will also be to the advantage of both the people and the City of Cape Town, if water meters are installed at all households using water. In this way people are able to monitor their water usage and the City of Cape Town can monitor this as well. This also assists people in understanding the importance of sustainable usage of water, as they will have to pay for the services that are provided to them. The Committee therefore recommends that the City of Cape Town speed up the process.

The Committee remains concerned that children have to cross the Lansdowne Road to collect water from the other site. Children and even adults are killed and remain prone to accidents. The Committee finds that this has to be dealt with in all urgency by the City of Cape Town. The Committee therefore recommends that the City of Cape Town either accelerates the establishment of the new land in Mfuleni, or the problem with land ownership between the City of Cape Town and private owners should be solved in all urgency.

The Committee also feels that the cleaning of the buckets that is still in use by the people should not be done twice every second week. This to the Committee is problematic, because not only is one household using these facilities, but in some instances more than one household uses these facilities. The Committee is also concerned that over weekends these buckets could create problems, because people use this facilities and the Committee is sure that these buckets are not collected over weekends. The Committee therefore recommends that the buckets are collected and cleaned more than twice a week, and especially on Fridays, as this would in some way help over the weekends.

The Committee also proposes that the City of Cape Town eradicates the use of the bucket system as soon as possible. This bucket system takes away the dignity of the people, and people are prone to illnesses and diseases.




    1. Khayelitsha, site visit, VIP sanitation project

The Committee was not at all impressed with the VIP toilets throughout the tour, as this was not far different from the bucket system. The Committee feels that this type of toilet is not suitable for the people, especially disabled people, the aged, and the sick. For example, a disabled person using a wheel chair would find it difficult reaching the toilet, more so when having to use the toilet.

The Committee also felt that people of Khayelitsha are not properly informed when these toilets are constructed, hence the confusion around the toilets which are used as pilot projects. The Committee was also not impressed with the solid waste that was lying on the pavements of the site, which the Committee visited and felt that this reflection shows that other sites could be having the same conditions and this is a reflection that people are not receiving proper services from the City of Cape Town.

The Committee therefore, after observation, feels that people are living on land that is not suitable for living. This is reflected in the flooding that is taking place in the informal settlements. These people need to be resettled on land that is made suitable for living conditions. Although the Committee was informed that in some cases people are reluctant to move, land needs to be identified so that these people can live in better conditions.

The Committee therefore recommends that a land audit be undertaken, and suitable land be identified, proper houses with the proper infrastructure for water and sanitation be implemented on these lands, so that these people could live in better conditions. The focus should therefore be on housing delivery. Informal settlements are not the answer, and while informal settlements exist, these problems will exist.

The Committee also recommends that the people should be better informed about the use of the water and sanitation services that are being implemented in the area. If people are well informed, this would lessen the confusion that the Committee observed, is taking place amongst the people.

The Committee also recommends that the City of Cape Town, improve on solid waste removal from the sites, as waste that lies around exposes people to various diseases. Children play in the waste that lie around and become seriously ill. Even animals dig in the waste, and carry around diseases, which is easily spread amongst communities. As the Committee was informed by the community, waste are not regularly removed and this needs to change.

  1. The Way Forward
  2. In the report, the Committee has identified issues that should be acted on by different role players. The major tasks identified are for DWAF to attend to. The Portfolio Committee recognises, of course, that DWAF has a wide range of responsibilities, and limitations of funds, resources and staff. The Portfolio Committee is not suggesting that all the many tasks identified in this report should be attended to immediately. However, over time, with due recognition of the department’s constraints, the Committee believes that action should be taken on these issues. The Committee intends to discuss with the department what is practically possible, and will over time, monitor developments in this regard.

    Of course, it is recognised that DWAF on its own cannot address the many issues raised in this report. Other departments, community organisations, the private sector and other stakeholders have a crucial role to play as well. So too do Parliament and the Legislatures, and in particular, our Portfolio Committee.

    The report should be published in the ATC (Announcements, Tablings and Committee Reports) of the National Assembly.

    The report should be debated and adopted in the House early in the next quarter of Parliament.

    Copies of the report should be sent to DWAF and the Committee should ensure that all those who interacted in the study tour get a copy of the report.

    Obviously what and how much can be done to take forward the issues raised depends on a wide range of factors. Among these, obviously, are our legislative and other Parliamentary responsibilities, constituency work, political party deployments, technical and other resources, funding, and the co-operation of a wide range of stakeholders.

  3. Note of Appreciation

DWAF were extremely co-operative and received us very warmly. The Committee extends sincere appreciation to them. The George Municipality, Overberg Water Board, Arabella Golf Estate management, Stellenbosch Municipality, the TCTA and the City of Cape Town, your reception and co-operation is highly appreciated.

The organisational details were dealt with by our committee secretary, Ms. Shereen Cassiem, and her assistant Ms. Olivia Siebritz, to them the Committee expresses their gratitude. Other organisational arrangements were dealt with by the outstanding Mr. Tony Brutus from DWAF and to him, the Committee expresses their gratitude. The Committee also thank the Researcher who accompanied them on the study tour, Mr. Glen Corker for the background reports he did which were helpful in drafting this final report.