Surface tension broken by water woes

The water between the Emalahleni Local Municipality and Rand Water is turbid.

Democratic Alliance Mpumalanga Leader and member of provincial legislature, Mr James Masango stirred the water this past weekend when he asked Member of the Executive Council for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Refilwe Mtsweni, why several Mpumalanga municipalities have failed to pay their Rand Water debt which could result in the flow of water supply being reduced.

One of the municipalities is Emalahleni Local Municipality.
Masango said Emalahleni owes Rand Water R24 956 379.

“The municipality has a dispute with Rand Water in connection with the actual work which was done by the entity, and as such the figure owed to them is also questionable. We, together with Rand Water, still have to verify the R24 956 379,” said municipal spokesperson, Mr Kingdom Mabuza.

He explained that the municipality had terminated Rand Water’s contract due to poor performance in November last year.

“As a result of that we are unable to understand how Rand Water arrived at the figure,” Mabuza said.

Masango said this debt could lead to further water supply challenges that already exist in some of these municipalities. He asked the government to intervene and assist municipalities to establish a way to address the non-payment of debt.

“The MEC must ensure that National Treasury, which has the mandate to mediate between Water Boards and municipalities in terms of section 44 of the Municipal Finance Management Act, pressurises municipalities to pay their outstanding debts. Punitive measures must be taken against these municipalities that are tardy in paying their debt, as the outstanding amounts owed by these municipalities could continue to grow and potentially compromise the overall provision of water to the public,” Masango said.

The other municipalities that supposedly owe Rand Water as well are: Bushbuckridge (R236 857 922), Govan Mbeki (R42 729 206), Mbombela (R32 841 497), Delmas (R8 388 396) and Thembisile Hani (R7 648 623).

Mr Justice Mohale, media relations manager Rand Water did not want to respond from Rand Water’s side and referred WITBANK NEWS back to the municipality for answers


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Zita Goldswain
Assistant Editor

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