Department owed R14.6bn in water bill by SA municipalities | Infrastructure news

Municipalities across the country owe water boards R14.6 billion.

According to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), R9.2 billion of the money owed is older than 120 days, which is four months of failing to pay water bills.

“The biggest culprit among the defaulters, according to DWS, is the Matjhabeng local municipality. The council owes the board more than R4.5 billion of unpaid water services,” said departmental spokesperson Sputnik Ratau.

Ratau said North West municipalities owed more than R1.5 billion. He said the main offender was the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality. The Emfuleni local municipality, according to Ratau, owed Rand Water over R1.1 billion, stating that the money was inclusive of the current account of R700 million.

Ratau said the Mangaung local municipality owed Bloem Water Board more than R700 million, inclusive of the current account of R400 million, owed over a period of 120 days by the end of November 2021.

He stressed that it was important for municipalities to pay their water bills as this was hindering the speedy delivery of water services
to communities.

Reviewing water boards

 Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu said the department was going to review all the water boards and that the Sedibeng Water Board was going to be the first.

“The decision to look into the review of water boards was purely aimed at speeding up the rate of service delivery,” Mchunu said.

“It is also aimed at enhancing a continued partnership between the end users, members of the community, water boards and the department. The idea is also meant to have water boards across the country play a central role with regards to municipality delivering services.”

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