Media Statement on Astral Foods water challenges at Lekwa Municipality
The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu has asked the Acting Director General of Water and Sanitation, Squire Mahlangu and the Director General of Human Settlements, Mbulelo Ntshangana to submit a full report on the water challenges affecting Lekwa Municipality and businesses in the area.
The Minister also tasked the Acting DG to meet with the Municipality and businesses in the Municipality to discuss short, medium and long term solutions to address the problem.
The Minister has directed that officials at the National Department of Water and Sanitation must spend time out of the office engaging with municipalities, businesses and communities to resolve challenges.
“Officials of the National Department must be problem solvers, they must be hands on and bring stakeholders together to solve problems. We have very good policies, it is time for these policies to be implemented and our most experienced and most senior staff must lead” Sisulu said.
“I have directed Deputy Minister Mahlobo and the Acting DG to prioritize these matters. Astral Foods is a big employer in that municipality; they have also offered to assist in resolving some of the challenges. It is our responsibility to now get everybody around the table and find long term solutions for the people of Lekwa and the businesses” Sisulu said.
The Minister added that she has found that most of the businesses operating in municipalities are willing to assist the municipalities with skills and in some cases to contribute financially to resolve the water and sanitation challenges and these must be welcomed and implemented immediately.
“Next week l am meeting with MECS, Mayors and officials to identify priorities for the sector but it is clear that modernisation and development of water and sanitation infrastructure is a priority as it directly affects businesses and communities. The President has directed that all of us work with all stakeholders to grow the economy and create jobs, and as Water and Sanitation we must resolve these challenges so that companies can focus on creating jobs, training youth and growing the economy” Sisulu said.
Deputy Minister Mahlobo will visit Standerton to meet with Astral and the Municipality as soon as possible.
Head of Communications (Spokesperson)
Date: June 25, 2019