WATER SUPPLY TO 30 DEFAULTING SOUTH AFRICAN MUNICIPALITIES TO BE CUT

JOHANNESBURG, The Department of Water and Sanitation will terminate bulk water supply to 30 defaulting municipalities in South Africa next month, says Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane, whichwill result in water cuts to consumers.

She told a media briefing here Monday that if the municipalities failed to pay their debts to the department and water boards, they would have their services terminated by Dec 8.

The department and water boards have, at various levels, sought to resolve the outstanding debt matter using various structures within the State such as the Inter-Governmental Relations framework and to date these have failed to yield the desired outcomes, she said.

The department is currently owed 10.7 billion Rand (about 778 million US dollars) for water supplied of which 3.9 billion Rand were owed to the department’s Water Trading Entity (WTE) and 6.8 billion Rand are owed to the various local government water boards.

Of the total debt, 7.0 billion Rand have been outstanding for a period exceeding 120 days. Under the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA), municipalities are required to pay for bulk waterservices within 60 days of receiving the relevant invoices. Section 41 of the MFMA further mandates the National Treasury to monitor payments made by municipalities for these services.

To date the department has issued 59 summonses and have six judgments granted by the courts against various municipalities. Mokonyane said only one was currently servicing its debt in line with a payment plan agreed to with the department.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK