DWS: Debt paying is not residents’ problem – FF Plus

Party says it would be unfair to punish paying residents for non-payment by municipalities

Debt the paying is not residents’ problem

6 December 2017 

“The Department of Water and Sanitation’s threat to cut off the water supply to the Free State municipalities that owe nearly R3 billion to water boards, is a slap in the face of paying residents,” says Jan van Niekerk, FF Plus provincial leader in the Free State.

The Department is threatening to cut off the water supply to seven Free State municipalities if they do not pay their outstanding water accounts by the 8th of December.

The FF Plus is going to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to reconsider cutting off the water supply to the municipalities that have fallen behind with their payments. 

“Tax payers in the Free State are already heavily burdened with constant water shortages and increased water tariffs that were implemented as protective measures in drought-stricken municipal regions.

“Not only is access to water a Constitutional right, but it would also be unfair to allow paying residents to be adversely affected due to the mismanagement of municipalities, water boards and water suppliers.

“It is the Department and municipalities’ duty to ensure that water accounts are paid.

“Paying residents should not have to suffer due to situations like the one in Mangaung, where there are disputes between the municipality and Bloem Water. It is not the residents’ problem to solve. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that debt does not escalate to a point where threats that the water supply will be cut off are made,” says Van Niekerk. 

Free State municipalities’ outstanding debt to water boards presently amounts to:

Mangaung                    :           R349,227,064.00

(Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Dewetsdorp, Mangaung, Thaba Nchu, Van Stadensrus, Wepener)

Kopanong                     :           R196,689,402.00

(Bethulie, Edenburg, Fauresmith, Gariep Dam, Jagersfontein, Philippolis, Reddersburg, Springfontein, Trompsburg, Waterkloof)

Ngwathe                       :           R83,322,099.00

(Edenville, Heilbron, Koppies, Parys, Vredefort)

Mafube                         :           R159,850,470.00

(Cornelia, Frankfort, Tweeling, Villiers)

Maluti-a-Phofung           :           R233,925,937.00

(Harrismith, Kestell, Phuthaditjhaba)

Mathjabeng                   :           R1,849,226,784.00

(Allanridge, Hennenman, Odendaalsrus, Ventersburg, Virginia, Welkom)

Nala                             :           R126,954,981.00

(Bothaville, Wesselsbron)

TOTAL                       :           R2,999,196,737.00

Issued by Jan van Niekerk, FF Plus provincial leader: Free State, 6 December 2017