A special joint ministerial and MEC team has agreed to escalate the war against water wastage.
In a meeting last week, it was agreed that youths would be trained in disciplines that would empower them to assist local governments in reducing non-revenue water from malfunctioning infrastructure.
Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma have said both their departments would fund the programme.
Affected municipalities will be consulted on the nitty-gritty of the programme.
Municipalities with high rates of water wastage will be identified and youths will be deployed to the affected areas.
National Treasury has allowed the Department of Water and Sanitation to use emergency procurement measures in drought-stricken areas.
The two ministers said all efforts towards drought relief needed urgent decision-making and execution.
They added only two provinces have been declared provincial disaster areas.
The meeting expressed concerns about municipalities using water tankers in drought-stricken areas as the process tended to be prone to corruption.
It suggested that municipalities should procure and have their own water tankers for local use.
Municipalities will be afforded opportunities to identify local labour who will be trained to maintain and utilise water trucks in affected municipalities.