Black Balance:Provincial Growth and Development Strategy Review 2016:A Reflection on Essential Services: Water and Energy
Black Balance:Provincial Growth and Development Strategy Review 2016:A Reflection on Essential Services: Water and Energy



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Black Balance:Provincial Growth and Development Strategy Review 2016:A Reflection on Essential Services: Water and Energy

2016-02-19

The KZN Provincial Planning and Commission (PPC) had in 2011 developed a Provincial Strategy and Plan that closely align with the National Development and Plan. This has become the Provincial Government's Plan of Action for addressing the areas of unemployment, poverty and inequality. The Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP) with its interventions and indicators are driven by
several Provincial Action Work Groups that report directly to Provincial Cabinet.

The intention of the 20 year Strategy was to review it every five years and the PPC has embarked on that exercise of review. The key focus areas of the review are the several landscapes that encompass and impact on the growth and development of the Province. These are landscapes are Physical, Environmental, Administrative, Demographic, Social, Economic and Infrastructure. The first draft of the situation overview of all these landscapes is on the PPC website(www.kznppc.gov.za).

Infrastucture

It has long been a view that infrastructure has the potential to move the growth and development agenda of the country and the Province. To this end the Government has already embarked on a bold programme of infrastructure development that has seen some benefits. However, the pace at which we continue to deliver is dependent on how we respond to challenges around lack of integrated planning, poor governance systems, global and local fiscal crisis, maintenance of assets and increasing access to skilled and innovative human resources.

The Water Crisis

No doubt, the current water and energy crisis will again impact on the extent to which we will deliver the pace of our infrastructure programme. The water crisis in the country and specifically in the Province has started the debate around source and demand, infrastructure maintenance, capacity of water management authorities to develop sound strategies for infrastructure development and resource management. In the Province, the most drought-stricken regions were Mkhanyakude, uThungulu, iLembe, Zululand, uMgungundlovu, Harry Gwala, uMzinyathi and uThukela. All of them had received rainfall well below normal and this had affected water levels in various catchments areas. While the provincial government has employed a multipronged approach to deal with the drought, it has required that we have a more in-depth analysis and discussion on alternative water investment strategy for the Province.

It is understood that South Africa is well positioned to manage its stressed water resources, but the necessary investments in water infrastructure are not being made. That a more directed oversight role by water institutions in the province to assist local authorities to better manage their water resource is required. In addition, water planning and management is catchment-based and crosses administrative boundaries. In addition, the alternative investment strategy would need to look at cost of a secure water supply and look at a multi-pronged approach e.g. building of new dams, desalination and reuse of water. Other aspects that would need to be considered would be to re-look at how water is currently used in South Africa and the Province. The quality of water supply in the Province and the fact that parts of the Province have erratic rainfall.

The Energy Crisis

The national energy crisis is a stark reality of a lack of adequate supply for electricity among a growing demand from an urbanising country. In the recent months South Africans have been spared the dreaded load shedding programme. National Government has responded in several ways to ensure short, medium and long term planning to ensure that we have a managed supply of electricity to deal with backlogs as well as economic growth. About 95 percent of the nation's electricity is supplied by state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which had installed generating capacity of 44,262 megawatts during 2015. More than 85 percent of the utility's output comes from coalfired plants.

The graph above indicates what's being done to bolster power supply and diversify the energy mix.

The infrastructure dialogue must be extended to transport infrastructure that includes road, rail, ports and airports.

The country as a whole and the province in particular is confronted by both international and domestic changes, that impact on our growth and development agenda. The challenge for us as leaders, both in government, civil society and the private sector would be the extent to which we collectively discuss, plan and execute our shared vision for the Province.

Black Balance Projects
info@blackbalance.co.za
www.blackbalance.co.za




Black Balance:Provincial Growth and Development Strategy Review 2016:A Reflection on Essential Services: Water and Energy

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