President Jacob Zuma accompanied by Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane and Eastern Cape Provincial Premier Pumello Masualle officlally launched the Ncora Water Treatment Water Works in Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape. 24/06/2016, Elmond Jiyane, GCIS

Ncora - People living in 29 villages in the Ncora area in the Eastern Cape were the first beneficiaries of the Ncora Bulk Water Project which provides the communities in the area with running water.

President Jacob Zuma officially launched the project on Friday and said government remained committed to ensuring water delivery to the area located in the Chris Hani District Municipality and other areas in the country.

To date, R220 million has already been spent on the project, and the project was expected to cost an estimated R354 million upon completion.

Zuma said the launch of the Ncora Bulk Water Project was “a step forward by government, towards ensuring that we move ahead to an improved quality of life of our people.”

The project, would see the Ncora Treatment Plant deliver five megalitres of water per day, and it was expected that upon completion, the project would deliver water to 13 802 households and benefit 75 910 people in 97 villages in the area.

He said the Chris Hani Municipality, which had a “responsibility” to live up to the legacy of its namesake, should ensure that its communities was a place where “people live in dignity, with access to all basic amenities, and a better life”.

Noting how the ongoing drought was adversely impacting the country, especially the Eastern Cape, Zuma said: “Water is life. Our people need access to water in every corner of the country. We take this seriously as government. That is why we have established a department dedicated to providing water and sanitation to the people.”

The Ncora project, he said, “will ensure supply to households, while also encouraging the broadening of the current economic activities, and hopefully encouraging new ones.”

Acknowledging the spate of protest action sweeping the country, Zuma appealed to the communities to save water in a time of drought and urged them not to protest and destroy infrastructure.

“We cannot afford the wanton destruction, theft or vandalism of infrastructure,” Zuma said.

“Government builds infrastructure in order to improve the quality of life. The private sector also builds infrastructure to ensure access nearer our homes, for example the shopping malls. If people burn these public amenities, it means that as South Africans we are taking the country backwards.”

Zuma called on South Africans to work together and “not allow criminal elements to destroy the march towards a better life”.