Water Wednesday: Water will be cut at 30 municipalities in SA

The Department of Water and Sanitation is issuing notices to at least 30 municipalities that their water supplies will be cut off, by Friday 8 December 2017 should they fail to pay their water debt that has been outstanding for more than 60 days.

A total outstanding water debt of R10.7 billion currently exists, with 73% of this amount being outstanding for longer than 60 days. This debt is owed by municipalities, despite Section 65(2)(e) of the Municipal Finance Management Act that obliges municipalities to pay for bulk services within sixty days of receiving the relevant invoice or statement.

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said that they issued 59 summonses to non-paying municipalities and stricter measures have to be taken.

She told EWN: “We have not gone to this step, and this step has always been there.”

The department has released a list of municipalities that owe them:

A department in crisis

A damning report by the South African Water Caucus or SAWC says that the Department of Water and Sanitation is in crisis after they found a very high staff turnover. There are around 900 posts that are vacant at the moment. They have also highlighted the recent suspension of top management, including DGs, four DDGs in the department that had nine accounting officers in the past eight years. Financial management of the department is also a major concern with the DWS owing its contractors R1.5 billion. The department is overdrawn in its accounts with the Reserve Bank by around R2.6 billion. This affects service delivery and the ability to fulfill their mandate during this water crisis.

Meanwhile news outlets, individuals and organisations have taken to Twitter to voice their concerns around this controversial move to cut water supply at certain municipalities:

 

Here is your weekly dam update:

The Vaal River System consisting of 14 dams serving mainly Gauteng Sasol and Eskom is at 86%.

The Cape Town Dams System consisting of six dams serving mainly City of Cape Town this week remain at 35%.

 

Here are the latest dam percentages throughout the country:

 

 

For a more in depth rainfall update, visit WeatherSA or click here. For more information on the water storage levels across the country, visit the DWS site. For a comprehensive drought status report from the Department of Water and Sanitation, click here.

 

  AUTHOR
Caxton Central

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