Minister must intervene in water debacle – Kevin Mileham

DA MP says 30 defaulting municipalities have until 8 Dec to pay off their debts or face water restrictions

Minister van Rooyen must immediately trigger section 139 interventions for defaulting municipalities

27 November 2017

Today Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane gave the 30 defaulting municipalities which have failed to honour their debt to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) a deadline of 8 December 2017 to pay off their debts.

Should these municipalities fail to meet this deadline, innocent South Africans and businesses will face water restrictions.

This water debacle is reflective of poor financial management and seeming corruption at the hands of the ANC at both national and municipal level. Had proper checks and balances been in place, this debacle would not have happened.

The DA will now write to the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Des Van Rooyen, to request that he immediately implement Section 139 of the Constitution. This section provides for interventionist measures to be put in place which allow for financial recovery plans in each of these municipalities, or failing which, place them under administration.

This follows the Minister of Water and Sanitation’s announcement today that the defaulting municipalities owe R3.9 billion to the Water Trading Entity (WTE) and R6.8 billion to the various water boards. It comes hard on the heels of the ESKOM municipal debt crisis, which is still not satisfactorily resolved.

Water is a basic human right and innocent South Africans and businesses in these municipalities should not have to bear the brunt of the ANC’s mismanagement and inefficiencies.

The DWS must be held accountable for their lack the lack of accountability and political will to arrest the situation to get to this point.

Minister Mokonyane has failed in her obligation to ensure that water supply to residents is not affected, and Minister van Rooyen in his responsibility to ensure the financial viability and competency of municipalities.

Issued by Kevin Mileham, DA Shadow Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, 27 November 2017