PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE OF WATER AFFAIRS AND FORESTRY

Draft Report: Oversight Visit to the West Coast of the Western Cape

16-21 January 2005

The Honourable Members of Parliament representing the Portfolio Committee of Water Affairs and Forestry on its Oversight Visit included: MS C C September (Chairperson), Ms M S Maine, Mr V Mabuyakhulu, Mr B G Mosala, Mr M W Sibuyana, Mrs L Ngwenya, Mrs E Lishivha, Ms P Bhengu, Mrs M M Gumede, Mrs S N Sigcau, Mr S Simmons, Mrs D Van der Walt.

Support Staff: Mr. Glen Corker (Researcher), Ms. Shereen Cassiem (Committee Secretary and Ms. Olivia Siebritz (Committee Assistant).

1. Prelude

The President (Mr. Thabo Mbeki) provided clear guidelines to municipalities and local authorities on government's targets for the delivery of free basic services. The President commented on the following with respect to water and sanitation service delivery targets:

By 2009, all households would have been provided with easy access to clean running water;

By December 2004, 10 million South Africans will have clean and potable water;

During 2004 more than 300 000 households would be provided with basic sanitation;

The programme to ensure easy access to clean water for all the households within five years will also help in the fight against cholera and other waterborne diseases.

This report presents a broad picture of the capacity of the three Municipalities visited on the West Coast of the Western Cape Province namely, Matzikama, Cederberg and Berg River Municipalities, to contribute to the successful implementation of the social contract to create work and alleviate poverty. A key issue for the 2005 oversight visit to the West Coast was to determine how far municipalities have come to implement projects that would ensure access by the people to basic water and sanitation as well as other governance and finance issues facing the Municipalities. In addition, the report highlights problems experienced by communities to gain access to water and hygienic sanitation. This is based on information received from communities and relevant committees (such as a transformation committee and housing committee) the Municipalities and DWAF at meetings hosted by the Portfolio Committee and on site observations during the oversight visit. The report is intended to provide a stimulus to the Portfolio Committee as well as relevant provincial and national Departments to provide targeted support to Municipalities to enable the fulfillment of their constitutional mandate. This mandate relates directly to the objectives of government's broad poverty alleviation programme.

2. Oversight Week visits

From 16 to 21 January 2005 the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry, comprised of permanent delegates from the various political parties in Parliament, and support staff embarked on an oversight visit to the West Coast of the Western Cape Province to assess the progress made by Municipalities to deliver basic water and hygienic sanitation to communities living in the surrounding towns and rural areas and the economic opportunities that can be created through the provision of water. The programme included visits to three Municipalities along the West Coast, briefings by the Mayor's and Councillors, a Transformation Committee, as well as site visits and visits to community social development projects. The delegation was accompanied by Councillors, Technical staff of Municipalities and representatives of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) provincial offices.

Issues of concern noted during the week's visits and recommendations on action to address these concerns and weaknesses will be highlighted in the report.

This report highlights a number of capacity challenges noted by the Committee in the various municipalities.

2.1. The following Municipalities were visited:

Matzikama Municipality in Vredendal Cederberg Municipality in Clanwillam Berg River Municipality in Piketberg

2.2. Meetings were held with:

Small Emerging Farmers Association in Lutzville

Housing Committee in Koekenaap

Transformation Committee in Ebenhaeser

Community of Algeria Nature Conservation Village

2.3. Site Visits were conducted at:

Veekrale, Holrivier, Lutzville Vineyards and a recently built dam and informal area of Nuwepos in Lutzville

Small Scale Farmers, Nuwe Hoop Farm, and Middle Farm in Vredendal

Mandela Park Informal Settlement in Clanwilliam

Algeria Nature Conservation Village

Eendekuil Springs and Raw Water Storage Dams as well Eendekuil Village

Porterville Springs and the Golf Course Dam in Porterville

Timber City Informal Settlement in Saldanha Bay

In addition, a presentation, were conducted by Aqua Loc a private company entitled the impact of water within an indigent poor community. Aqua Loc used Timber City to implement its pilot project.

3. The following findings are recorded:

3.1. Statutory Compliance

The municipalities visited indicated that they are already in the process of implementing legislation such as the Municipal Systems Act and the Municipal Structures Act. They are however, challenged in the implementation of the Municipal Finance Management Act as well as the National Water Resource Strategy (NWRS).

They are encountering problems with implementing certain provisions of these statutes.

!t is therefore recommended that:

There is a need for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of statutory compliance by both the national and provincial governments to ensure that the legislative framework is observed and implemented at the local level. There is a need for focussed oversight over compliance. The key stakeholders, who need to work cooperatively and on an ongoing basis, include Treasury, Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF), Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), the provincial departments of Local Government, SALGA, as well as the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry.

3.2. Section 78 Assessments as required by the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (Act No. 32 of 2000)

Section 78 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (Act No. 32 of 2000) requires a municipality when reviewing an existing mechanism or having decided on an alternate mechanism to provide a municipal service in the municipality or part of the municipality to first assess':

Direct and indirect costs and benefits associated with the project if the service is provided by the municipality through an internal mechanism2,

' Section 77 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act (Act No. 32 of 2000) states that " a municipality must review and decide on the appropriate mechanism to provide a service, when a new municipal service is to be provided, or an existing service is to be significantly upgraded, extended or improved".

Z An internal mechanism may be a department or other administrative unit within its administration. Any business unit provided by the municipality provided it operates within the

including the expected effect on the environment and on human health, well being and safety.

 

The capacity and potential future capacity to furnish the skills, expertise and resources necessary for the provision of the service through an internal mechanism.

The extent to which the reorganisation of its administration and the development of the human resource capacity within thaf administration could be utilised to provide a service through an internal mechanism.

What came out clearly was that Matzikama and the Cederberg Municipalities have not completed their Section 78 assessments. Berg River Municipality has however, completed theirs. These municipalities are struggling to complete the Section 78 assessments especially in informal settlements.

It is therefore recommended that:

There is a need for DWAF to build capacity within Municipalities so that these municipalities can complete their Section 78 assessments as these assessments is an important factor for municipalities to also complete their Water Services Development Plans.

3.3. Water Services Development Plan

With the publication of the Water Services Act, Act 108 of 1997, all Water Services Authorities (WSAs) are required to prepare a Water Services Development Plan (WSDP). The WSDP is a business plan setting out the way in which the WSAs plans to deliver water services to individuals and businesses in its area of jurisdiction. It must also describe the current and future consumer profile, the type of services that are provided, the infrastructure requirements, a water balance, organisational and financial arrangements to be used, an assessment of the viability of the approach, and an overview of environmental issues. Following this analyses, important issues that may impact on the provision of effective and sustainable water and sanitation services need to be identified and strategies must be formulated to improve service provision.

However, as indicated by DWAF officials, it appears that the design of Water Service Development Plans by all the municipalities in the Western Cape is a challenge facing the Department (DWAF) in the Western Cape. Representatives of DWAF, informed the Portfolio Committee that a study has been undertaken by DWAF to quantify and verify water services in the municipalities. However, there are a few loopholes in the study that needed to be rectified. Masibumbane, has in the interim identified a few projects to assist municipalities to assess water and sanitation issues, especially on farms and informal settlements. Backlogs

municipality's administration and under the control of the council in accordance with operational and performance criteria determined by the council or any component of its administration.

identified in terms of service delivery will then be incorporated into the WSDPs of municipalities.

It is therefore recommended that:

There is a significant link between the Section 78 assessments and the WSDP. Therefore, it is imperative that municipalities complete these assessments to determine backlogs of services in their areas. This would then enhance the capabilities of municipalities to plan how to deal with backlogs in terms of service delivery. DWAF and Municipalities should therefore enhance co-operative governance to ensure that these assessments take place as soon as possible and that WSDP be developed so that water and sanitation backlogs can be attended to.

3.4. Integrated Development Plans (IDPs)

In the period following the December 2000 elections, Municipalities were required to compile interim IDPs. It appears that the Municipalities have improved on these interim IDPS.

The three Municipalities visited indicated that they have linked their IDPs to their budgets, as required by the Municipal Systems Act. Similarly, there are indications that the Municipalities when drawing their IDPs have aligned these to their respective Provincial Growth and Development Strategy and the National Spatial Development Strategy. However, there seems to be an over-reliance on infrastructure development. There is a need to place equal emphasis on the social, economic and capacity enhancement projects.

In spite of claims by the Municipalities that their IDPs are linked to their budgets, there were also reports that refuted this and showed that in some Municipalities, there is, in fact, a lack of funds to implement IDP projects. It appears that Matzikama and Berg River Municipalities occasionally use funds to maintain infrastructure and not to implement IDP projects. This also highlights a need for greater alignment of IDPs with Provincial Growth and Development Strategies, which will streamline funding and allow greater co-ordination of projects.

3.4.1. Challenges identified relating to IDPs:

Availability of funding to implement priority projects.

Weak project management skills within Municipalities.

The consequent use of consultants to draft IDPs.

Weak capacity for the purpose of monitoring and evaluation. Community participation.

It is therefore recommended that.

During the next review, IDPs need to be realigned to take into account the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Priority projects therefore need to incorporate labour intensive elements and focus on job creation. While community participation in municipal processes is essential, it is equally important for the Municipality to maintain an educational strategy to inform communities about the Municipality's priorities, challenges and constraints. Mechanisms to ensure timeous feedback to communities should be developed.

The annual IDP review process is important, so that Municipalities can consult with communities and related stakeholders on their changing needs and priorities.

The contribution of all spheres of government to the financing and execution of Municipal IDPs must be strengthened.

3.5. Delivery of Municipal Services

The Municipalities indicated that they are providing free basic services to their communities and that this is informed by the existence of an indigent policy and a register. It therefore appears that the Municipalities have made progress in their provision of free basic services, a policy adopted by Cabinet, aimed at providing free basic municipal services to every poor household in the country. These services, often referred to as "a basket of services", are solid waste removal, water, sanitation and electricity.

In spite of such progress, there continues to be serious backlogs in service provision in these Municipalities. For example, farm workers and communities of informal settlements are not the recipients of the provision of free basic water and sanitation. This portrays a picture of the lack of uniformity in the implementation of free basic services, especially water.

Similarly, it is not clear how indigent policies or registers are administered or how often these are updated. The Municipalities on the West Coast continue to encounter difficulties in updating their indigent registers. There is no profiling within Municipalities, of what constitute indigents, to determine the socioeconomic status of communities to better inform decision-making or needs analysis to provide better and quality services to those who are in need.

It is therefore recommended that:

DWAF, in co-operation with the Department of Local Government monitor the provision of basic services by Municipalities, to ensure that services rendered meet national norms and standards.

Uniformity in the provision of free basic services by municipalities should be established.

3.6. Infrastructure backlogs

The areas visited displayed relatively weak infrastructure. Households continue to use the Ventilated Pit Latrines (VIPs) and it was reported that in certain areas a number of households still use the bucket system. Most are not metered. It was also indicated that in certain cases there are no sanitation facilities at all, particularly on farms. Infrastructure for Emerging Small Farmers, are also relatively weak. The Portfolio Committee was informed that this is due to a lack of funding, drought, and especially water shortages.

It is therefore recommended that:

The infrastructure required to provide quality and healthy services in terms of sanitation must be developed by Municipalities. Optimum use to implement capacity building programmes should be made of funds allocated from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, through the ring fencing of funds for this purpose.

DWAF should enhance co-operative governance and encourage participation of all sectors involved for example the Department's of Housing, Agriculture, Local Government etc., to ensure that the backlogs in infrastructure can be addressed. This should include infrastructure backlogs for small farming.

3.7. Revenue Raising

Municipalities are struggling with revenue collection. However, there appears to be marginal success and improved recovery for outstanding debts for services provided by Municipalities.

In addition, a significant number of households are indigent, which has the immediate result of reducing the revenue raising capacity of the Municipalities, since the indigent cannot afford to pay for services.

The debt inherited by Municipalities following the demarcation process, is substantial. In most cases such debt has not yet been rescheduled or written off. It appears that the Municipalities require assistance to do so.

There is no uniform policy regarding credit control or collection of revenue. Municipalities experience problems with billing and collection of money for rates

Uniformity in the provision of free basic services by municipalities should be established.

3.6. Infrastructure backlogs

The areas visited displayed relatively weak infrastructure. Households continue to use the Ventilated Pit Latrines (VIPs) and it was reported that in certain areas a number of households still use the bucket system. Most are not metered. It was also indicated that in certain cases there are no sanitation facilities at all, particularly on farms. Infrastructure for Emerging Small Farmers, are also relatively weak. The Portfolio Committee was informed that this is due to a lack of funding, drought, and especially water shortages.

It is therefore recommended that:

The infrastructure required to provide quality and healthy services in terms of sanitation must be developed by Municipalities. Optimum use to implement capacity building programmes should be made of funds allocated from the Municipal Infrastructure Grant, through the ring fencing of funds for this purpose.

DWAF should enhance co-operative governance and encourage participation of all sectors involved for example the Department's of Housing, Agriculture, Local Government etc., to ensure that the backlogs in infrastructure can be addressed. This should include infrastructure backlogs for small farming.

3.7. Revenue Raising

Municipalities are struggling with revenue collection. However, there appears to be marginal success and improved recovery for outstanding debts for services provided by Municipalities.

In addition, a significant number of households are indigent, which has the immediate result of reducing the revenue raising capacity of the Municipalities, since the indigent cannot afford to pay for services.

The debt inherited by Municipalities following the demarcation process, is substantial. In most cases such debt has not yet been rescheduled or written off. It appears that the Municipalities require assistance to do so.

There is no uniform policy regarding credit control or collection of revenue. Municipalities experience problems with billing and collection of money for rates

and services provided. The Municipalities depend largely or exclusively on the equitable share as their source of revenue.

It is therefore recommended that:

Treasury, at national and provincial level, should provide guidance to Municipalities on capacity building programmes for the management of inherited debt. Negotiations on the writing off of debt must be conducted.

In areas where there are low levels of economic activity, Municipalities must be assisted by the Department's of Agriculture, Local Government, Environmental Affairs and DWAF in particular to develop growth and development strategies to ensure the economic development of the area.

The National Indigent Policy should be approached holistically by municipalities and they must ensure that they synchronise the criteria to enable those people who qualify as indigent to receive a range of services that may include a social grant, basic services and so forth.

The national policy on credit control can be used as a guideline by municipalities, to implement mechanisms for credit control that should take cognisance of the indigent.

The ongoing review of the equitable share formula must take into account poor Municipalities and be biased towards them.

3.8. Local Economic Development (LED)

While only Berg River Municipality indicated that they have developed LED policies, the other two are encountering problems. LED policies often contain projects that are not properly planned and costed, and aligned to Municipal budgets and IDPs. There is a lack of uniform policy, project planning and access to financing or funding sources. These Municipalities do not have a broad economic base and this presents particular challenges. There is a need to profile the socio-economic state of these Municipalities so that there is valid data that can be used for targeted interventions and assistance. Local Economic Development plans should take into account the resources available in a particular area, for instance, in agriculture.

It is therefore recommended that:

DWAF need to provide more clarity on the nature of the LED programme, its initiatives, strategies and implementation framework.

3.9. Capacity Issues

Capacity is a pre-condition for a proper functioning local government and in order for Municipalities to discharge their constitutional and legislative mandates of quality and sustainable service delivery. However, capacity is more than training. Capacity includes institutional capacity, management capacity, skills development, financial capacity, etc. Although there are some form of capacity building programmes and assistance received by Municipalities, this is not necessarily focused or targeted to meet the specific needs of Municipalities. The Municipalities visited indicated that they are experiencing difficulties related to capacity or lack thereof. The Municipalities are encountering capacity problems relating to human resources, project management and financial management, in particular.

It is therefore recommended that.

DWAF and the Municipalities in all urgency determine the areas where capacity building is most needed and develop these areas into focussed and targeted areas to meet the specific requirements of Municipalities. Once this has been determined, emphasis need to placed on capacity building around the other areas.

3.10. Partnerships for Service Delivery

The creation of partnerships is crucial to deliver effective and efficient water and sanitation services to the people. It would seem that municipalities along the West Coast have not entered into any partnerships. Matzikama Municipality informed the Portfolio Committee that they have not entered into any partnerships with other institutions, they however have been working closely with the Lower Oliphants River Water Association (LORWA) to deliver services to the people.

It is therefore recommended that.

Municipalities need to be capacitated on how to create partnerships for efficient and effective water and sanitation delivery to the people of the West Coast.

4. Meetings held by the Portfolio Committee

4.1. Small Emerging Farmers Association in Lutzville

The Committee met and engaged in discussions with the Emerging Small Farmers Association (ESFA) at the Uitkyk Community Hall in Lutzville.

There are approximately 7 emerging small farmers (ESF) currently operating in Lutzville. They are farming with iter-alia, pigs, chickens, vegetables and grapes.

The land that they use to farm on was identified by the municipality and according to them is owned by the municipality. According to the ESF, projects were started three years ago, if not before, however, they are not making any progress and still remains where they started. Over the past three years, funding has been obtained to assist them, but has mostly been spent to purchase fencing to close up the land allocated to them. However, the fencing of their land is in such a state that their poultry and pigs are being stolen. In addition, it would seem that the ESF are not being informed as to the exact amounts in funding that was being made available to them, and that they were not being drafted into the decision making processes as to how to spend the money. Emerging small farmers, were informed by the municipality that R300 000 has been made available to them and was mostly spent to acquire the fencing to close their farms . Emerging small farmers have also applied for funding from places like the Land Bank but were told that there is no money available for them.

The Committee was also informed that there is not sufficient water available to irrigate their land. Water for irrigation is supplied to farmers through a canal that runs from the Oliphants River and is managed by the municipality. Due to the water shortage, land has also become un-arable (not conducive for farming), and the only arable land is situated around the Oliphants River, but belongs to the commercial farmers. Emerging small farmers therefore, struggle to grow their crops because of the water shortage (mainly due to the lack of rainfall and water restrictions).

It also seems that government subsidies are taking too long to reach ESF, and when arable land becomes available, there are no funds to purchase the land. The land is therefore, bought by those who have money readily available (willing buyer, willing seller principle).

It is therefore recommended that:

Municipalities need to implement a subsidy policy for ESF, as it seems that are no existing policy in place.

DWAF must accelerate the feasibility and viability study of raising the Clanwilliam Dam. If the outcome of the study is positive, raising of the dam must start with all urgency, as this will allow the communities using the dam as a resource, better access to water.

The transformation process should be accelerated.

Water User Associations (WUAs) must ensure that all farmers have equal access to water. Consideration should be placed to provide ESF with sufficient water from the canal as this will improve the chances of ESF becoming commercial farmers.

Municipalities need to familiarise themselves with the National Water Resource Strategy to enable them to identify roles and responsibilities, when it comes to water provision.

More efficient and effective water management strategies should be implemented, as it would seem to the Committee that the management in the supply of water to ESF is the major problem.

4.2. Housing Committee in Koekenaap

The Committee, officials of DWAF and officials of the municipality, met with the Housing Committee and community of a low cost housing settlement namely Mandela Park in Koekenaap. It was brought to the attention of the Committee that informal houses have also been erected adjacent to the low cost housing site and forms part of Mandela Park 3. The Committee, was informed by the municipality, that they have applied for funding to transform Mandela Park and that these funds have been approved. However, according to the municipality, the housing project has been delayed due to National Housing Building Contractors requirements. The new housing project if completed will allow communities access to water and sanitation facilities.

It was brought to the Committee's attention that Mandela Park has no sanitation facilities at all. Communities of Mandela Park also do not receive the free 6kl of water that they are supposed to receive every month. They do, however, receive temporary services of water.

It was also brought to the Committees attention that Mandela Park has no access to electricity, and has a high crime rate.

The Committee was also informed that water cuts have increased in the area because people could not afford to pay for services. Communities rely on farm work and can only work during the planting and reaping seasons. Out of season workers therefore cannot afford to pay for services and this leads to their services being stopped. There is also a high unemployment rate in the area.

It is therefore recommended that:

The provision of potable water is a priority area of municipalities and they need to ensure that people have access to this. DWAF needs to enhance co-operative governance and include the Department's of Minerals and Energy, Housing, Health, Local Government and so forth.

People cannot live healthy lives without proper water and sanitation facilities, the Municipality with the help of DWAF should therefore in all urgency seek alternate solutions to provide the people of Mandela Park with access to water and sanitation services.

3 The Portfolio Committee was informed that the creation of these informal houses are due to the influx of farm workers during the grape planting and reaping season. These are additional labour that is hired from outside of the area by the farmers. Farmers do not accommodate these people when hiring them, forcing them to erect informal structures.

 

Water cuts deny people their right to have water. The municipality should therefore in all urgency seek other alternatives than to deny people complete access to water.

4.3. Transformation Committee in Ebenhaeser

Ebenhaeser was established under the Land Exchange Act of 1925. The Minister of Land Affairs on behalf of the State holds the land in trust. The Committee was informed that the State intends to hand the land over to the people of Ebenhaesar. The land constitutes approximately 1 500 hectares comprising of 54 farms. This has resulted in the people of Ebenhaesar trying to establish what they will be doing with the land for economic purposes. The community are therefore still undergoing processes of transformation, and are busy compiling a land acquisition and development plan.

Ebehaesar obtains its drinking water from the Oliphants Dam, which is managed by the Oliphants River Water User Association and DWAF. It receives its irrigation water from the Clanwilliam Canal and is the last user to receive water from the canal.

The Committee was informed that the Land Exchange Act of 19254, made provision for the community of Ebenhaesar to receive free water5. However, with the introduction of the new Water Act, this has changed and communities must now pay for water. This issue has been debated over a period of four years between DWAF, the municipality and communities. Communities remain of the opinion that free water supply to Ebenhaesar was a negotiated issue, between the coloured community and the commercial farmers. However, according to the municipality, domestic water was not part of the agreement/negotiations and the Land Exchange Act of 1925 only made provision for irrigation water to be supplied as free in exchange for labours.

With the establishment of the WUA, irrigation water is still being supplied free to communities, and they only need to pay for domestic water. However, communities were not satisfied and informed the Committee that the distribution of water are not being done fairly, as part of the community (20%) has to pay while others are not paying at all.

4 It would seem that this Act pertains specifically to Ebenhaeser, and is not a National Act, but could have been established by white commercial farmers when they reallocated land to the coloured community of Ebenhaeser.

5 According to a member of the community, who claims to be resident for more than 50 years, free water was given to the community by the whites (commercial farmers) during apartheid as a partial payment in return for the labour that was provided by the coloured community and also because of relocation.

6 This fact was disputed as the community was of the opinion that in the past, they had no land to irrigate, and why would the people have negotiated for irrigation water if they had no use to make of it. If the Act states otherwise, they were adamant that the water was provided free to communities and were domestic water and not irrigation water.

The Committee was also informed that Ebenhaesar has a unique history of not paying for services. What should be noted is that the community has to adapt to this new system of paying for services. The community of Ebenhaesar owed the Municipality R14 000 in unpaid debt for services rendered. However, R10 000 of the R14 000 in unpaid debt has been paid and this reflects the communities commitment to pay for services.

The Committee was also informed that Ebenhaesar is a dry area, and water restrictions due to the low rainfall in the area has created major problems for ESF. Ebenhaesar also do not have a proper irrigation system, and still uses the old flood irrigation type of system. Water is therefore not properly distributed amongst the community.

It was also reported that since 2000 no funding has been received from DWAF, and the reason for this according to the community is because of the transformation process not being completed. According to the community, since 2002, they have maintained the canal, but receives no funding. This makes it difficult to continue cleaning the canal. This causes problems, because at times the canal system becomes very dirty, causing problems in the flow of the water. The Committee was informed that some white commercial farmers have a servitude over the land and therefore do not contribute to the maintenance of the canal system.

It is therefore recommended that:

The basic problem in the distribution of irrigation water arises from bad management. The WUA needs to establish better management systems to ensure that the distribution process remains fair and equal. The

irrigation supply infrastructure also needs to be upgraded.

Communities are requesting that the Clanwilliam Dam be raised, so that the dam could store more water, and in this way supply more water to Ebenhaesar. DWAF and the municipality should determine whether this is realistic, as the canal itself is very narrow, and the addition of more water being added into the canal can create major problems to the canal infrastructure.

The transformation process within Ebenhaesar needs to be accelerated.

4.4. Algeria Nature Conservation Village

Algeria is a nature conservation village. The land is owned by the Department of Public Works. Although Algeria falls within the jurisdiction of the West Coast District Municipality (WCDM), it seems that the WCDM plays no role in the provision of services to Algeria. Algeria is supplied with water from a river stream which serves as a catchment that feeds into a tank that provides water to the village. The stream, which is running dry, due to the low rainfall in the area,

causes the supply of water to the tank not being sufficient to supply the village. In addition, the pipe, which is connected to the tank from the stream is leaking water, thereby causing a substantial amount of water being wasted. There are also no water meters to determine the quantity of water being used by the community of Algeria, and whether they are receiving the free 6kl of water per month. However, the Committee was informed that water meters are in the process of being implemented.

The Committee was also informed that WCDM is negotiating with a farmer whose land is adjacent to the nature conservation, to create a small reservoir to increase the supply of water to the nature conservation. Algeria is equipped with fully water borne sanitation.

The Committee was also informed that the school, which has been in the vicinity for 43 years and houses approximately 45 learners, was closed in 2002. Learners now have to travel to Clanwilliam to attend school. This is problematic, especially for grades 1 to 3 learners, who have to rise at 5am to be able to leave for Clanwilliam at 6am.

It is therefore recommended that.

WCDM should ensure the effective implementation of the water meters.

The leaks in the pipeline from the river stream to the tank should be fixed as a matter of urgency

WCDM accelerates negotiations with the farmer for the creation of the small reserviour. If negotiations are successful, the supply of water to the communities of the nature reserve will increase.

The Department of Education reconsiders reopening the school.

4.5.. Presentation of the impact of water within an indigent poor community: Aqua Loc Pty Ltd.

Aqua Loc conducted their presentation at the Saldanha Bay Municipality quarters situated in Saldanha Bay. Aqua Loc is a privately owned company. The company has been operating in South Africa for the past five years.

Aqua Loc produces hydrometer products which enables the exact recording of consumption in the fields of:

Water measuring equipment

Heat measuring equipment

System engineering

Their spectrum of flow meters ranges from domestic water meters to mechanical, ultrasonic and magnetic-inductive heat meters. Aqua Loc, for the purposes of

water demand management, have conducted a pilot project in Timber City, an informal settlement just outside of Saldanha Bay.

Timber City is home to approximately 2 500 people and has approximately 1000 informal houses. The settlement is divided into 2 sections. The one section is equipped with water borne sanitation, while the other section has no sanitation facilities at all. The community resident in the one section therefore has to use alternate measures to accommodate their needs'. On the other hand, the section that is equipped with water borne sanitation has only 12 toilets. These 12 toilets are shared between approximately 80 people per toilet. In addition, people living in the other section at times also make use of the toilets. In terms of domestic water, standing taps are situated outside of the informal houses, and are shared between families8. The other section of the settlement also has no access to domestic water.

It is in the water borne section of the settlement that Aqua Loc installed their water meters. The meter is:

A Class B inferential (multi-jet) cold potable water meter that complies with SABS 1529-1: 1994 specification and approved in terms of section 18 of the Trade Metrology Act (Act 77 of 1973).

A self-contained unit, which can be co-axially mounted into a workstation containing a manifold.

Has a measuring cartridge that is fitted with a strainer.

Is a disposable unit, and can only be removed with specialized nonstandard tools.

The workstation:

Meets the load test requirements as per SABS 558 specifications. Is a below ground plastic housing with a minimum depth of 300mm. Contains a manifold to house the meter unit and a quarter turn stop tap, which can be repaired in situ.

Is able to accommodate an Intelligent Flow Regulating Valve (IFRV) (of various flow rates) with or without the meter.

The IFRV can be easily accessed, yet sealed to prevent tampering.

The IFRV is a unique water saving device that can maintain a constant flow irrespective of increasing or decreasing water pressure. By using the IFRV, a balanced pressure in the upstream system can be maintained.

' Here the Committee was informed that at times people have to move into the bush to relieve themselves. This type of act takes away the very dignity of that person.

8 It was difficult to confirm exactly how many households share the standing taps. However, what was noted is that it could be shared between approximately four households per tap.

The Committee questioned the community and inquired how they felt about the water meters. The community was of the opinion that they had nothing against the implementation of the water meters, if it would be to their advantage. The community of Timber Land Informal Settlement were not receiving the free 6kl of water per month.

It is therefore recommended that:

DWAF play a more prominent role in assisting the Municipality to ensure that the section of the informal settlement that do not have access to water and sanitation services gain access to these services.

Communities of the section of the settlement that is water borne should get their free 6kl of water per month and once the other section of the settlement gains access to water services, they in turn should get the 6kl of water.

The lack of sanitation facilities in the settlement is problematic. The Committee finds it impossible that 80 people could share a toilet. The Municipality should engage DWAF, and the Department's of Health and Local Government, to ensure that the people of Timber Land Informal Settlement are provided with more toilets. This should be executed as a matter of urgency.

The programme of the Committee was set in such a way that the Committee would conduct site visits to an emerging small farmers project in Lutzville, an informal settlement namely Khayelitsha in Clanwilliam. The Committee would also visit two farms namely Nuwe Hoop and Middle Farms just 3 km away from Vredenburg.

5. Site Visits

5.1. Emerging Small Farmers (ESF): Lutzville

The Committee visited a dam, namely Holrivier, from which it is envisaged that ESF will receive additional irrigation water if negotiations with the owner (farmer) is successful. Adjacent to the dam is the canal that runs from the Clanwilliam Dam and currently provides water to ESF. The canal has shutters (sluices), which are used by farmers, when drawing their water from the canal. Once a farmer has drawn his water, for example, for an hour, he is supposed to close off his part with his shutter, allowing the other farmer to then draw his share of the day's water. This process starts from the point of measurement, meaning that the farmer nearest to the top part of the canal receives his water first, and the farmer farming at the bottom of the canal receives his water last.

This system has however, created problems between farmers, and they are blaming each other for not holding to the allocated time allowed for the withdrawal of water from the canal. Farmers at the top of the canal are said to

leave their shutters open long past their allocated time and when the water reaches the bottom farmer, there is hardly any water left in the canal for him to use. Farmers are also blaming each other of stealing water at night, whereby they open the shutters, allowing water to run on their farms through the night (this is farmers living at the top of the canal). This has led to violent reactions by farmers with each other, and there have been threats that it could become worse. It would also seem that the infrastructure of the canal are not proper for distributing water to these farmers.

The Committee was also informed that when meetings are held between farmers and the municipality, the farmers are outnumbered and it seems that their issues are not being taken seriously.

 

It is therefore recommended that:

The Transfer Committee, DWAF and the municipality need to meet and solve the problems. Methods for equal access to water by farmers needs to be determined.

Better monitoring systems for water distribution be put in place as it seems that there are no monitoring systems in place.

Water management committees needs to play a more pivotal role in the process especially in water allocations.

If there is rules and regulations, these need to be made more stringent, and farmers need to commit themselves to these rules and regulations. DWAF should play a facilitating role in the process.

5.2. Khayelitsha Informal Settlement

The Committee visited Khayelitsha Informal Settlement, with the objective being to assess the provision of potable water and healthy sanitation by Cederberg Municipality to the settlement.

Khayelitsha has approximately 1 000 informal houses. One standing tap accommodates approximately 8 households. There are approximately 8 dry sanitation toilets for the whole of the community of Khayelitsha. This the Committee found to be unacceptable. The municipality and officials of DWAF, explained to the Committee that funding to improve sanitation and water services in Khayelitsha has been approved and that implementation of the project is in the pipeline and will be starting soon.

It is therefore recommended that:

The envisaged water and sanitation project be accelerated and treated as a priority area, so that the residents of Khayelitsha can have better access to water and sanitation. DWAF need to play a facilitating and monitoring role in the process, and ensure that the project is implemented.

5.3. Nuwe Hoop Farm

The families living on the farm had no sanitation and effluent water facilities at all. In addition, a pipeline connected to a standing tap, that supplied them with water had been cut and closed off and they were denied any access to water on the farm. The Committee was informed that they had to walk to the canal to retrieve water for their use. This, the Committee was informed is very unhealthy and at times their children becomes very ill. Their dignity has been totally taken away from them. In addition, all the families had received eviction notices from the owner, requesting them to leave his farm.

It is therefore recommended that:

DWAF, the Department of Housing and the Municipality investigate the eviction of the people from the farm with all urgency, to ensure that the people living on the farm is assisted in the proper manner.

Middle Farm9, which the Committee could not visit, should be visited by the municipality, and the conditions under which the people are living there should be investigated. Research has shown that five families are living on the farm and have no access to sanitation facilities. These families have to make use of areas near to the river and other alternate areas. This should also be investigated as a matter of urgency, and be reported back to the Committee.

5.4. Eendekuil

Eendekuil is situated on the outskirts of Vredendal. Eendekuil has a population of approximately 800 residents. It is a very dry area, and is provided with water from a borehole that belongs to a farmer. The municipality has an agreement with the farmer that he will provide Eendekuil with water from the borehole. At present with the lack of rain in the area, the borehole hardly has enough water to provide to the community of Eendekuil, and the water supply to the area has become limited. In addition, Eendekuil does not have water borne sanitation facilities. It could not be determined whether the bucket system are still in operation in Eendekuil, as mixed responses from the community and municipality clouded the issue.

However, the municipality informed the Committee that proposed developments for Eendekuil is in the pipeline and will be starting soon. This will include upgrading sanitation provision in the area. Developing a used hector sports-field, and upgrading the school in the area. With these developments in mind, the provision of water from the borehole will not be sufficient. The Committee was informed that in light of the proposed developments and the demand for water in the area, a feasibility and viability study is being conducted for the possibility of

9 Middle Farm is situated approximately 2 km from Vredenburg, and belongs to Mr. Jan Van Lill.

laying a pipeline from the Berg River to Eendekuil. This pipeline will then provide Eendekuil with water, and should be a solution to the problem that is being faced by Eendekuil.

The Borehole that the Committee viewed, does not have sufficient water to supply Eendekuil. The borehole is situated on a farm, and is supplied with water from a catchment area in the surrounding mountains. The catchment is not receiving sufficient water and therefore, are not filling the borehole appropriately. This in the long term will create problems, especially to the community of Eendekuil. What adds to the detriment of the town is the lack of rainfall in the area.

It is therefore recommended that:

DWAF become more vigilant in its operational processes, especially when it comes to providing communities with access to water and sanitation. DWAF together with the municipality should ensure that the viability and feasibility assessment of constructing the pipeline from the Berg River is accelerated in all urgency. With the shortage of water in the area, the community of Eendekuil will only benefit if the study is successful. In addition, an assessment of sanitation facilities in the area should be conducted as a matter of urgency, so that people are not denied their right to healthy sanitation facilities. This process should also be spearheaded by DWAF, together with the municipality and if necessary other relevant institutions (for example, the Department of Health).

6. Challenges faced in compiling this report

In compiling this report a number of constraints must be noted as these impacted to varying degrees on this report:

Firstly, the report depended largely on the information provided by Municipal and Departmental officials, whether in the form of verbal or documented presentations. While all responses were recorded, in most cases, time constraints prevented delegations from verifying all information provided.

Secondly, Municipalities appeared to lack the necessary capacity to respond adequately to the delegations' request for information. In such cases, there may be a need for a follow-up visit to examine the challenges being faced.

Thirdly, certain Municipalities did not have documented evidence to provide to the Portfolio Committee.

7. Concluding Remarks

The oversight visit shows that capacity constraints, institutional weaknesses and limited revenue hamper the ability of Municipalities to deliver these basic services. Municipalities have come to serve much larger populations while facing overwhelming services and infrastructure backlogs. Municipalities are therefore faced with the task of improving not only the quantity but also the quality of basic services being delivered to their communities.

The overwhelming findings following the oversight visit is that, despite the enormous strides made following the restructuring process, municipalities continue to face severe constraints in delivering services as well as significant financial challenges.

The Portfolio Committee is therefore committed to ensuring follow up on areas of concern raised during its visits as well as on the recommendations for interventions to be made.