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Cape Town - The DA has called on Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale to urgently take action to reduce South Africa's large sanitation backlog.
His department recently revealed that it spent less than 16 percent of its Rural Household Infrastructure Programme budget for last year (2012/13), Democratic Alliance MP Stevens Mokgalapa said in a statement on Thursday.
The programme is aimed at working away rural sanitation backlogs.
Mokgalapa said such “chronic under-spending” had hardly made a dent in the backlog of almost 2.5 million rural households which did not have access to sanitation.
“The department only spent R54 million of its R340.6m 2012/13 financial year budget for the Rural Household Infrastructure Programme... by the end of December last year.”
This was unacceptable for a programme meant to accelerate sanitation delivery.
“One of the reasons for this slow pace is the limited number of service providers and their capacity.... It is clear that more service providers are needed and those contracts currently in place should be assessed and terminated if they cannot deliver.
“Minister Tokyo Sexwale must urgently present a plan to Parliament on a turnaround strategy to ensure that these essential sanitation services are delivered on time, that service providers are able to fulfil their obligations, and that the budget allocated to the (programme) is in fact used for the intended purpose,” Mokgalapa said. - Sapa