Ekurhuleni drinking water scored highest on the government's Blue Status scale this year, with 98.95 percent. The City of Johannesburg followed closely with 98,92 percent and Mogale City with 98,79 percent.
The Blue Drop report, is an incentive-based regulatory initiative which requires water services institutions to provide information in line with the legislative requirements of Section 62 of the Water Services Act. Blue Drop certification goes beyond the quality of drinking water and includes aspects such as risk management, operations and asset management of water services.
South Africa's minister of water and environmental affairs Edna Molewa released the Blue Drop report during the Water Institute of Southern Africa Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 7 May 2012. She said 98 municipalities were awarded Blue Status this year, up from 66 in 2011. In total, 153 of South Africa's 287 municipalities and 931 water systems were audited. Molewa stressed that just because a municipality was not awarded Blue Drop status, did not mean that their water remained unfit for human consumption.
Molewa commended the Victor Kanye Local Municipality (formerly Delmas), in Mpumalanga, which increased its score from 18.26 percent last year to 80.07 percent this year. The worst scoring municipalities were Koukamma (5.6 percent) and iKwezi (7.9 percent) both in the Eastern Cape. The department issued warnings to 15 municipalities about the quality of their water.
Helgard Muller, acting Deputy Director-General of Policy and Regulation at the department, said the involvement of water boards and the private sector were key to improving the management of water services. Of the 98 municipalities that achieved Blue Drop certification, 38 were serviced by water boards and about 20 by the private sector.
The top performing province is Gauteng, scoring 98.1 percent, followed by the Western Cape, 94.2 percent and KwaZulu-Natal, 92.9 percent. The other six provinces all scored below that of the national average of 87.6 percent, with Mpumalanga ranked as the worst performing province at 60.9 percent, followed by Northern Cape with 68.2 percent.