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Minister for Water and Sanitation: Mr Senzo Mchunu
“It gives me pleasure to present this 2022 Green Drop report. The President announced the relaunch of the Green Drop Certification programme in his State of the Nation Address, and we are pleased to have delivered on this commitment. We recognised that as a flagship project, this incentive-based regulation programme has the power to mobilise the wastewater sector on a path to improvement.
Wastewater management and sanitation are paramount to the dignity of our people and integrity of the environment and it is therefore important that we strive for excellence in these fields. Even though the Green Drop programme has been at the centre of much of the improvement in the sector over the years and has brought about change and reignited the passion amongst our wastewater specialists, the results of this report serves as a scientifically calculated indicator that there is still a mammoth task ahead of us.
It remains unacceptable that sewage spillages and failing wastewater treatment works are detrimentally impacting our environment as well as the livelihood and health of many of our communities on a daily basis in the year 2022. It is of great concern that there are so many systems with scores below 31%, indicating a dismal state of wastewater management, posing a risk to both environment and public health. We are therefore making the call to political, public and private leadership to declare their commitment to use this report as the turning point towards sustainable improvement, because everyone can make a difference within their sphere of influence.
I need to make it clear that action will be taken against those municipalities that flagrantly put the lives of our people and environment at risk. As Minister of Water and Sanitation, I am engaging the Minister of Cooperative Governance to ensure that as National Government we take drastic intervention measures towards the improvement of water services.
We will use this report as the baseline for the Water Services Improvement Programme (10-point plan) from where we will measure the sustainable turn-around which we aspire to. However, we are proud of those municipalities who have displayed their commitment towards effective wastewater management, even in the absence of the Green Drop programme over the past few years. The Green Drop scores achieved prove that excellence in the field of wastewater management is a realistic possibility and will remain the performance target for all to plan towards.
A special congratulations to the leadership, management and staff of those systems that attained the prestigious Green Drop status.
We move forward knowing that we do not accept ‘being good’ as the norm for the South African wastewater industry instead, we endeavor towards excellence.”