South Africa and the People’s Republic of China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of water resources.
The MoU, signed on Monday, seeks to establish and reinforce co-operation between South Africa and China on the efficient utilisation, management and sustainable development of water resources, including establishing a long-term co-operative relationship on the basis of equity and mutual benefit.
In the agreement, signed by Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti and China’s Minister of Water Resources, E Jingping, the two governments mutually agreed on areas of co-operation.
These include enacting and implementation of water policies, laws and regulations; integrated management and utilisation of water resources; comprehensive river basin planning; comprehensive utilisation of rain water; and planning, designing, construction, operation and maintenance of water-related infrastructures.
The areas of co-operation also include small hydropower development; hydrology and water resources monitoring; groundwater utilisation, protection and management; flood control, draught relief and disaster mitigation; climate change impacts on water resources and countermeasures; coordination and cooperation in international water events; training and capacity building; as well as other fields of mutual interests.
The working agreement between the two countries came during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State Visit to the People’s Republic of China, as part of his investment drive.
To ensure that the MoU is implemented accordingly, a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) for Cooperation on Water Resources Management has been established and will be co-chaired by heads of the competent authorities.
Condolences to family of man who died at water project
Meanwhile, the Department of Water and Sanitation has expressed its condolences to the family of a man whose body was found in a trench of a department’s water project in the early hours of Sunday.
A man, who was identified by police as Thabiso Kobo from Tshetlhwaneng village in Sekhukhune, was found dead in a trench which was dug for the construction of a scour at Makgeru-Schoonoord Bulk Water Project.
“At this stage, it is not known how the victim fell into a trench and the police are investigating,” the department said.
The department has warned villagers who live around the Makgeru-Schoonoord Water Project to avoid walking near the dug trenches, as this may place their lives in danger.