Today's Labour News

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blsaEngineering News reports that in her latest weekly newsletter published on Monday, Business Leadership SA (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso addressed the major challenge of local government’s mismanagement of water infrastructure, which is leading to an increase in water shortages and questionable water quality.

It appeared that the water crisis was growing, although it was difficult to determine the full extent of delivery failure in SA, since the degree to which municipalities were meeting their constitutional duty to provide water varied widely, Mavuso noted. She pointed out that according to the Blue Drop Audit Report, which was released by the Department of Water and Sanitation last year, the situation was dire and nearly half of the country’s drinkable water posed acute health risks owing to bacteria and pathogens. The report also highlighted a serious skills shortage across the system, with at least an additional 203 technical staff and 197 scientists being needed. Many stakeholders in the private sector have committed to assisting local governments, with businesses often sending their own staff to support maintenance and repair activities, although the onus was ultimately on national government to ensure that water services were effectively provided. Mavuso added that there needed to be development of skills in municipalities to enable them to proactively manage and maintain water systems. She advised that BLSA remained eager to partner with local government to enable such skills development through mentoring schemes.

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