SUBMISSION TO WATER PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON THE STRETIGIC PLAN MULTI YEAR- 2004/5- 2006/7 AND THE BUDGET VOTE 34
COMMENTS ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN
Point 10.1 on page 25 –
Dwarf indicates that it will monitor and support municipalities to achieve its targets- the budget unfortunately does not provide this level of specificity so is an amount available or can an amount be put to this process?
It would be good to circulate the Water service Budget much earlier so that one has a sense of what is being allocated , and how it is broken down- and then in relation to the overall budget- the % that goes towards Water services.
- On the same point- reference to 1,5 million people who are part of the backlog and require services- does this 1,5 million include people who were initially serviced but now need to be serviced again as a result of the failures in the initial water schemes ( particularly rural areas where the BOTT had failed)
Recommendation- if this is spelt out clearer in another document it could be circulated as an appendix.
- the same applies to the question of sanitation- R2 billion is being allocated but the like water the form or nature of the service has not been elaborated on – so is it about basic supply, upgrading supply etc. The R2 billion for sanitation needs to be qualified
Recommendation- need additional information which helps one understand the specificities/ details which unfortunately do not come in the overall budget
- Then with reference to the MIG’s is there a document which indicates what are the various amount being allocated to various municipalities and are there guidelines which govern a0 how it is used, b) how the monies are to be accounted for, c) guidelines for how it can be accessed by communities wanting to be involved in addressing service delivery issues/ backlogs?
Recommendation; if these processes exist it would be good to inform us of them, if not, there is indeed a need for them.
Point 10.3 pg 26
On the issue of monitoring of FBW is this a budget item and what % is being allocated to monitoring and evaluation- who will be doing the monitoring- ? consultants? If so it becomes quite an expensive process when money can be used more effectively and build capacity or create employment within communities for example.
Recommendation- consultants come at a high cost and at times merely see the contract as a job without considering the impact of certain positions or decisions. Local expertise which includes the community as an important stakeholder should be used instead- Lets build capacity and maximize on peoples knowledge
- On the same point- the issue of ongoing support under the outputs column- what form of support is being referred to here- financial, technical and can a figure be put to this as well
Recommendation: a document which explains this will be useful as an appendix
- The promotion of sanitation program – does this include the hand washing campaign ? also how much of money is allocated to this versus the actual implementation of water services to ensure or improve access- we don’t want to land up with a situation where thousands have been spent on teaching people good sanitary practices but under restricted water use or lack of access the information is a mute point.
Recommendation: access to water and clean water should be prioritized above this campaign, so less glossy covers and more taps that are not prepaid should be the emphasis.
Point 11.1 page 26
On the last point – reference is made to gender- it is important in fact fundamental tha the approach to gender mainstreaming not only be about number but about gender sensitive policies and approaches to the service and the delivery thereof- does the budget reflect this or is it simply salaries for women in key positions- if so, them a point I would motivate needs serious reflection if "gender" is to be taken seriously
- Reference is made to the water ladder being in place in March 2005- what % of the budget does this item occupy?
Gender is a serious issue and gender mainstreaming does not simple imply head counts- institutes that work on gender and gender experts should be drawn on to assist DWAF in developing a truly gendered approach to water service delivery and should thus be budgeted for.
Point 11.6 page 28
- The promotion of water services and knowledge etc- what % of the budget is allocated to this item? And a follow up point with regarding the network- does this include civil society and is there a budget allocation to facilitate participation
Additional information would be useful to be able to comprehend this issue in the budget
- Support of water service institutions- once again how will this be measured and by whom – since it would have budgetary implications
Recommendations; There is a project being funded by the WRC which hopes to develop a tool around monitoring and evaluation of water service provision, can this in conjunction with communites be used as an alternative to consultants
- On the same point but on the issue of service authorities functioning effectively, is efficacy equivalent to financial sustainability or how wil this be measure and by whom once again?
While efficiency is important it should not come at the cost of the poor, part of measuring efficiency is the quality of service provided which includes the poor
Final point of the strategic planning document- 13.2 page 31
- Reference is made to the transfer of DWAF WS to WS institutions- does this include private entities- PPP’s / Pup’s etc. and what is he actual cost of transfer.
On the budget – vote 34
Reference to water resource management – does the R157 364 include refer specifically to FBW or does it include services in general – why does the amount drop from 236 209 to 157 364?
On the issue of stakeholder empowerment, the amount has increased substantially and it is good to see- but what would be even better is if we could see the number of process for which their involvement is required and correlate that against the amount-
Also are there process whereby civil society is informed about this and are there processes which ensure that they are able to access the funds to ensure participation.
expenditure trends: with particular reference to dams- R 500 million is being invested in Dams- is this taking into account the findings of the current audit being done on the 10 Dams and will other dams be looked at and depending on the findings influence this level of investment.
recommendation; catchment needs to be seen in a much broader light and extend simply beyond dams, water tanks, and redirecting of storm drains and the effective use of storm water are some examples.
- With reference to catchment management does the budget make room for alternative methods of management i.e tanks on roofs to catch rain water, other forms of capturing off run of rain water- rediverting storm water so that it can be sued more effectively especially in areas which are outside of the catchment but where high levels of rainfall is accounted.
- Recommendation: as above
Pg 888 cont.
On the point of agricultural users- it is very interesting to see that R27 million is goint towards the support of agricultural users- they are however the largest users of water so to what extent is cost recovery being applied to this category of users vs investment- this is of particular interest especially when full cost recovery with cut-offs where necessary is advocated in the next point for domestic users.
Full cost recovery should be charged to agricultural users and , they do not for example pay back money when the rand is favourable to the dollar thereby enabling them to make huge profits from which only they benefit.
What % of the budget is actually allocated to DAMS beyond the figure cited for investment?
Bulk supply- how is this being monitored- i.e Water boards currently can profit from their sales of bulk water to service providers, who in turn have to transfer that cost onto consumers to ensure financial sustainability.
Recommendation that bulk water suppliers, eg water boards and their pricing of water be monitored and regulated effectively.
With reference to the grants in kind given to local government- what % does this item occupy on the budget and is there an indication of the amounts and to which municipalities these are allocated.
On the point of transfer of water service schemes and tariff structures- at what costs should cost recovery be applied- Durb tariff for example makes FBW a misnomer.
- Water services- 7 million people are cited as being services by schemes- how recent is this figure- and how was it derived?
Recommendation, tariffs should be progressive and should charge the higher users a charge in proportion to their use, which is currently not the case.