Address by Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, Minister of Water and Sanitation at the Water Infrastructure Investment Summit held at the Sandton Convention Centre, City of Johannesburg
Programme Director, Gabsie Mathenjwa
David Mahlobo, Minister of Energy
Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business
Pam Tshwete, Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation
Ambassadors and High Commissioners
Parks Tau, SALGA President
Sifiso Mkhize, Acting DG of the Department of Water and Sanitation
Chairpersons and CEO’s of State Owned Entities and Agencies,
Senior Government Officials,
Media in attendance
Ladies and gentlemen
It is with humility and sense of togetherness that we requested your presence and participation at this our first ground-breaking and inclusive stakeholder engagement in investment within the water and sanitation space.
This gathering today, could not have come at a better time than now, because it forms part of our narrative in the drive towards attaining the Sustainable Developed Goals (SDGs).
Together with 192 other countries, South Africa committed itself to the achievement of the new globally set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one of which is Goal 6: whose objective is to: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Targets 6.1 and 6.2, the two targets related to drinking water and sanitation, set a higher bar than the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) did – they call for universal and equitable access.
In the drive to achieve the universal and equitable access to both water and sanitation, development and maintenance of infrastructure plays a critically important role. Thus, the State of the Nation Address in 2015 further highlighted the need for infrastructure projects to encourage economic growth and the creation jobs, pushing the frontier of poverty and narrowing of inequality, through such projects.
It is in this context, that the importance of this Water Infrastructure Investment Summit we are holding today should be seen. Critically, the event intends to introduce the paradigm shift for water and sanitation industrialisation under the banner: Creating a new public-private partnership in water and sanitation infrastructure.
Radical socio-economic transformation entails, amongst other, the introduction of new models and mechanism of working relationships that will enhance the effective and efficient delivery of service to the people.
This, therefore, then, means that we have to look at new ways for an integrated water resource management. Efforts to manage, protect and preserve water as a critical resource in a sustainable manner speaks to the collective responsibility of all the stakeholders in the water sector.
Water security and management are vital components of social and economic development in South Africa. Putting in place appropriate internal measures will enable a significant benefit in realising external opportunities to save water and use it more efficiently.