INDEBTED SOUTH AFRICAN MUNICIPALITIES TOLD NO MORE WATER SUPPLY TILL DEBTS ARE REPAID

CAPE TOWN, South African Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says her department will be unable to provide emergency water support to delinquent municipalities until significant steps have been made to recover their outstanding debts to the department.

The Department of Water and Sanitation will continue implementing water cuts to defaulting municipalities from 8 December 2017, while an integrated solution is being sought between relevant government departments, she announced in response to a proposal by the South African Local Government Association (Salga) for a debt write-off, as one of the solutions in preventing the threatened water cuts.

Salga, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), the National Treasury and the Department of Water and Sanitation appeared before Parliament here Wednesday following the announcement by the Water and Sanitation Department that it would cut bulk water supplies to at least 30 defaulting municipalities.

Both Cogta and National Treasury strongly opposed the writing off of any municipality debt while Cogta and Salga came under fire for their lack of support to the Department of Water and Sanitation, which had gone the extra mile in providing emergency support to municipalities when water services feil in communities.

Mokonyane called for a Parliamentary review on disaster funding, as the department had not yet received any reimbursement for its emergency interventions during the height of the drought disaster of 2015 and including its current drought interventions in Western Cape Province.

Members of Parliament called for improved governance in local government. Parliament resolved that the executive authorities of the respective departments should meet within 14 days under the leadership of Cogta and submit their plans on resolving the impasse.

All affected departments are expected to return to Parliament by 24 January 2018 with concrete solutions.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK