South Africa is losing an average of R7.2 billion a year due to water leaks. This is according to the Department of Water and Sanitation which has vowed to give renewed impetus to the War-on-Leaks (WoL) programme.
The Department held a special Ministers and MECs, or MINMEC meeting, in Johannesburg, co-chaired by the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, and her CoGTA counterpart, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The meeting focused on relooking how the War on Leaks programme is rolling out. The Department of Water and Sanitation says part of the problem it faced was that it had not been properly budgeted for resulting in a lack of training.
However, the Department says there will now be a continuation of the training from the end of January.
The War on Leaks programme seeks to train youth in disciplines that will empower them to be able to assist local government to reduce the non-revenue water from malfunctioning infrastructure.
Both Ministers instructed officials of their departments to make sure that the programme is sufficiently funded up to the point of an exit strategy being properly executed.
The MinMEC meeting also decided to identify municipalities with high water losses where the trained youths would be deployed.
In tackling drought, the Department says it has prioritised R600 million of its budget towards drought relief.