Who pays for large scale water projects?

The water crisis in Cape Town has thrust the business of water into the spotlight.

While the government is responsible for water supply and distribution in the country, there is uncertainty on who is responsible for paying the big water projects, like desalination plants etc.

Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits School Of Governance says that the short answer is the users.

The easy question is: 'Who is going to pay for the big water projects that supply places like Cape Town and Johannesburg n and big industries?" And the answer is very clear in policy - the users.

Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits School Of Governance

I used to always say that water should be a lead sector. We were the innovative ones, we will show people how to do it. Of course we are currently innovating in how to mismanage and run departments into the ground.

Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits School Of Governance

In the financing of big water projects , we were once upon a time, in the lead. We still have the institutions that can do that.

Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits School Of Governance

I like to think that in the future, the users will pay, but they will be helped to do that by project financing agencies that can make it easier for them.

Mike Muller, visiting professor at Wits School Of Governance

Muller says when it comes to the cost of a stable water future for South Africa we are looking at around tens of billion of rands for the next five years only.

Listen to the full conversation below:

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