South Africa and Zimbabwe set to sign water transfer agreement

South Africa and Zimbabwe set to sign water transfer agreement

By Agencies

South Africa, with the aid of Zimbabwe, is taking a significant step towards addressing water supply challenges in Musina, Limpopo.

Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu, alongside his Zimbabwean counterpart, Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka, is set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Thursday, 14 March, for the transfer of treated water from the Beitbridge Water Treatment Works in Zimbabwe to Musina, which has a population of 132 009 people.

The SA Government News Agency reports that the MoU is poised to facilitate the transfer of about 15 million m³ a year (equivalent to 41 million litres a day) of treated water.

The agreement builds upon the countries’ Co-operation on Water Resources Management and the Joint Water Commission, which South Africa and Zimbabwe initiated in 2015 to enhance collaborative water management efforts.

In addition to the MoU, Mchunu and his counterparts from Botswana and Mozambique will sign an amended Limpopo Watercourse Commission agreement, with a focus on transboundary water management. This amended agreement is crucial for promoting equitable management, development and utilising water resources in the region.

The transfer of treated water to Musina is not only essential to address immediate water supply challenges but also aligns with South Africa’s broader objectives of ensuring the sustainable development of the Limpopo River Basin.

The MoU follows recent incidents of public unrest in Musina because of the lack of water supply to local communities.

These incidents have underscored the urgent need to improve water supply to the area, as reported by the Polokwane Review Observer.

Furthermore, the agreement aligns with the broader objectives of National Water Month, which South Africa observes annually in March.