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Councillors inducted on Water, Sanitation, Electricity and Energy






Posted: 24 May 2022

SALGA Mpumalanga together with various Sector Departments inducted Councillors responsible for Water, Sanitation, Electricity and Energy from all municipalities within the province (24 – 26 May 2022) as part of the Portfolio Based Councillor Induction Programme.

The Councillor Portfolio Based Induction and development programme wass aimed at enriching Councillors tasked with Water, Sanitation, Electricity and Energy to better understand the complexities of providing policy and strategic direction on their portfolios and related matters. The Water Services Act (108 of 1997) and the National Water Act (36 of 1988) provide the legislative framework within which water supply and sanitation services and water use need to take place.

The first part of the induction is focused on Water and Sanitation topics such as:

  • Understanding the Water and Sanitation Business Cycle (The Wall Chart- Interactive Facilitated session) focused on Water Processes, Water Sector Institutions, Legislative Roles and Responsibilities, Water users, the recovery of Costs.
  • Legislative Functions of the Water Services Authority (WSA) and Water Services Provider (WSP).
  • Legislative Framework for Water and Sanitation (Legislation that Impacts on Water Services).
  • Sanitation Services.
  • Water Services Development Plan (WSDP).
  • Water Services Status Quo.
  • Water Services Regulation (Drinking Water & Wastewater Regulation).
  • Water Conservation & Water Demand Management.
  • Five Year Councillor Development Programme.

"This training will ensure that Councillors are capacitated in understanding the legislative obligations and responsibilities required of them to do their work within municipalities," said Cllr. Teboho Hlakutse who is a Provincial Executive Committee member and facilitator.

Councillors have a contribution to make in ensuring sustainable water use and the protection of water resources. Councillors have the responsibility for ensuring not only that there is effective provision of water and sanitation services, but also that appropriate and effective health and hygiene education programmes go alongside the infrastructure provision.

At Council level, Councillors must ensure that budgets are provided for sanitation infrastructure development, operation and maintenance. At Council level, Councilors should ask questions about whether the municipality is taking its water and sanitation services (which includes sanitation, health and hygiene education) responsibilities seriously, and what programmes are in place to promote health and hygiene practices in communities.

At project planning and implementation level, Councillors must be aware of or keep in touch with all processes and municipal officials involved in their ward. At local level, Councillors must be involved directly with ward communities and project steering committees, and directly with communities for education about and motivation of good health and hygiene practices.

The second part of the induction is focused on Electricity and Energy topics such as:

  • Introduction to Electricity and Energy: Legislation, Mandates, Municipal challenges, Interventions.
  • State of Electricity and Energy in South Africa.
  • Municipalities as an Electricity service authority.
  • Introduction to Renewable Energy (New generation) and Energy Efficiency (EEDSM and EPC) in Municipalities.
  • Local Government RE and EE Strategy Guide.
  • Discussion of Case Studies and Best Practices in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
  • SALGA/Southern African Energy Programme (SEAP) Collaboration and intention in supporting municipalities on training such as Revenue management, PPP energy project, Electrification PMO.
  • SDG 7, role of energy and electricity in the society, statistics for energy access in RSA and Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The process of Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP), the policy, progress made and common challenges for municipalities.
  • Financing for Electricity and Energy Funding options available to Municipalities for renewable energy projects.
  • Capacitation and Training in Municipalities.

Councillors received a broad understanding of the following in the energy and electricity sector: The value chain, Policy, legislative framework, Institutional arrangements (at national, provincial and local level). Councillors also gained an overview of the status quo within the sector, including challenges and key issues; Councillors were capacitated on the service authority functions of a municipality, as well as equipped to ask relevant questions and make informed decisions for each sector area.

Did you know?
National Drinking Water Standards are set to ensure protection of public health.
The South African National Standard (SANS) 241 Drinking Water Specification is the definitive reference on acceptable limits for drinking water quality in South Africa. It provides guideline levels for a range of water quality characteristics.
SANS 241 limits are comparable to international drinking water quality standards.

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