The Department of Water and Sanitation had become dysfunctional as a result of staff shortages, corruption and policy changes, the South African Water Caucus (SAWC) said in a report released on Monday. Media reports have piled up about the department’s inaction over the drought in the Western Cape, about billions of rand in municipal debt and ballooning costs for projects such as the Mzimvubu dam in the Eastern Cape and the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The SAWC, formed in 2002, includes about 20 community organisations and trade unions. It asked a team at its last biennial meeting to look into concerns about this department and will present its report to Parliament’s portfolio committee on water and sanitation this week. The report “lays bare a situation of institutional paralysis within the department and associated deterioration in financial management, service delivery, policy coherence and performance”, the SAWC said. The report, which is based on publicly available informat...

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