COSATU notes the National Council of Provinces’ adoption of the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency SOC Limited Bill

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes the National Council’s adoption of the National Water Resources Infrastructure Agency SOC Limited Bill.

South Africa is a water scarce country.  Water is the lifeline for the entire nation.  It is critical it be managed effectively and efficiently and the constitutional right to water is upheld.  We are concerned about the condition of our water infrastructure, the large amounts of water lost to leaks and the backlog in infrastructure investments.  We need to equally change how we consume water as households, industries, agriculture and mining.  A shift towards conservation and recycling is long overdue.

The Bill provides for a single national government institution to manage our water infrastructure and resources.  This is important to help ensure a coordinated approach to this matter.

COSATU remains concerned by this single national government organ being a public entity and not located within the public service, in particular the Department of Water and Sanitation.  The Federation is opposed to the creating agencies when we should be strengthening the public service.  Issues that undermine service delivery within the public service, e.g. vacancies, budget cuts, mismanagement, unreliable internet connection, dilapidated public works properties, corruption etc. must be dealt with. 

Creating an entity or agency fragments the state, duplicates mandates, creates additional layers of management and weakens executive authority.  Workers are opposed to the agencification of the state as these entities fall outside of the state’s collective bargaining processes and important undermine collective bargaining processes.

The Presidency and National Treasury have understood COSATU’s concerns about creating these agencies.  The Minister of Finance disclosed to Parliament recently that there are now 5303 entities and agencies within the state.  The Federation will be engaging government on a framework to ensure public service regulations and conditions of services as well as collective bargaining processes are extended to include its entities and agencies and a roadmap to ensure their integration into the public service framework is set.

Issued by COSATU.

For further information please contact:

Matthew Parks

Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator

Cell: 082 785 0687


6th Floor, Constitution House,

124 Adderley Street,

Cape Town 8000, South Africa