Friday, 12 January 2018

Ongoing Water crisis at the Emfuleni Municipality

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Democratic Alliance press release by Dady Mollo Cllr

DA Emfuleni Caucus Leader 

A bankrupt Emfuleni Municipality is currently battling to pay off its debt to Rand Water which has resulted in the residents having to endure days without running water in the area. The Rand Water head office in Glenvista was under siege Tuesday morning.  The Emfuleni Mayor and municipal officials (the Vaal region) blocked entrance with their cars.

The municipality currently owes Rand Water millions for water supplied. After several meetings, where the minister was also involved, officials resorted to hold Rand Water hostage demanding the valves be opened immediately. Workers at Rand Water were trapped in the building until the municipal reservoirs filled up at about 14 hours. They decided to vacate the gates only once water was running out of the tap.

Rand Water has since dispatched its crews to open the water valves.

In early December the Municipality undertook to make a bulk payment of R150 671 834 to Rand Water, which was scheduled for payment on 11 December 2017.

Furthermore, additional payments were scheduled as follows:

  • R42 149 262 to be paid on 5 January 2018; and
  • 24 equal installments of R11 713 279 will commence from 31 January 2018 to 31 December 2019.

This plan was initiated by the Municipality with Rand Water after defaulting on prior payment plans.

However, this changed when the municipality only managed to make a payment of R147 million on 11 December, when the Gauteng Premier was called in to intervene as the cash strapped municipality was unable to make payments in accordance with the initial agreement. A payment of R17 million was only made after the intervention by the Gauteng premier which then enabled Rand Water to restore water in the area.

A definite payment plan is yet to be confirmed.

This a very dangerous precedent set by the ANC management with their actions.  The ANC has failed its people dismally. The worst part is that the very same party that has a tendency of failing to keep its word, has the audacity to demand services from Rand Water without making payment of what is owed and encourage the public to make these demands.

The question is; does this now mean that the public can demand services which they have not paid for? Is the ANC intending to resolve this issue? When will the new payment plan be put in place?

The people of Emfuleni deserve a new beginning under a government where service delivery will be the main priority.

Published in Energy and Environment