Water crisis: South Africa set to import water from Zimbabwe


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Water and Sanitation Minister, Senzo Mchunu, and his Zimbabwean counterpart, Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka, will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Thursday for the transfer of treated water to Musina in Limpopo.

Dr Masuka is the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development Minister in South Africa’s northern neighbour.

This bilateral agreement allows for the supply of approximately 15 million cubic metres per annum from Beitbridge Treatment Works in Zimbabwe to Musina.


With a total population of 132 009 people, the Musina Local Municipality comprises 192 villages and one town, which is Musina.

Musina lies in a dry area with few water sources, and mostly relies on groundwater.

“South Africa and Zimbabwe signed a bilateral agreement on Co-operation on Water Resources Management and the Establishment and Functioning of the Joint Water Commission (JWC) in 2015,” the Water and Sanitation department said in a statement.

Additionally, Minister Mchunu, in collaboration with counterparts from Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique, will sign the amended Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM) Agreement

The LIMCOM Agreement is aimed at fostering transboundary cooperation on shared resources.

“The agreement will strengthen South Africa’s relations with the three riparian states which share the [Limpopo River] basin and use water from the river to support various socio-economic activities, including agriculture, tourism, energy generation, as well as for domestic use,” the department said.


On Friday Mchunu and his Deputies, along with Vhembe District Municipality Mayor, Freda Nkondo, will engage with the community of Musina at Musina Showgrounds.

The goal of the gathering is to provide feedback on the progress made to address water supply challenges in the area.

These initiatives align with National Water Month – South Africa’s expansion of World Water Day – which puts emphasis on the management and sustainability of freshwater.


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