Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says transformation in the Construction Management Unit of the department will be prioritised.
Minister Mokonyane made the remarks when she was presenting an overview on the Construction Management Unit within the department to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.
The Construction Management Unit was established to construct, rehabilitate, refurbish and maintain new and existing National Water Resources Infrastructure.
The intention is to meet industrial, agricultural and social (domestic) bulk water supply requirements and to facilitate economic growth and development, including the rehabilitation and upgrading of existing water supply infrastructure to comply with international dam safety standards.
The Minister told the committee that while the unit has in the past undertaken various infrastructure projects to ensure that communities have access to clean water supply, it is, however, plagued with slow transformation.
She said transformation within the department should be taken seriously by everyone.
“The department’s drive is to ensure that there is a difference between what used to be and what is expected today. The intention to ensure transformation in the department should be in line with our guiding document, the National Development Plan which envisions a water sector that is reflects all the demographics of the country,” said Minister Mokonyane.
Minister Mokonyane also emphasised that transformation should not just mean colour and gender specifics, but it should also show in how procurement is done.
“Everything we do should be in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act to ensure that we do things by the book. A lot must also be done to ensure that the previously disadvantaged communities and companies also benefit in the water sector but we must guarantee compliance,” Minister Mokonyane said.
A Joint Transformation Committee was established by the department in 2015 to ensure that transformation is an inclusive project within the department, with specific focus on creating new opportunities for the previously disadvantaged, as well as the youth, women and people with disabilities.