Gauteng municipalities owed R622 million by ANC Provincial Government

The Gauteng Provincial Government is hampering service delivery in the province’s municipalities as it currently owes a collective amount of R622 105 203.30 to local governments.

The amounts owed are as follows:

Home to the most affected residents, DA-led metropolitan municipalities make up the lion’s share of this debt.

Embattled local municipalities that are hardest hit by the provincial government’s failure to pay back money it owes.

ANC-run Emfuleni, Merafong City and Rand West City owe millions of rands to both Eskom and Rand Water. Emfuleni is already experiencing a decrease in water pressure as Rand Water has restricted flow due to the large debt the municipality is battling to service.

Gauteng MEC for Finance, Barbra Creecy, along with Cooperative Governance MEC, Paul Mashatile, have done very little in turning around the fortunes of these local municipalities and assisting them with servicing the debts they owe.

These local municipalities should have been placed under Section 139 administration to ensure that residents do not continue to suffer under ANC mismanagement.

Both MEC Creecy and Mashatile refuse to take this step because of the embarrassment it will cause to the ANC in the province, as it tries to give off the impression that it has a good story to tell.

If MECs Creecy and Mashatile cared as much for the residents of these municipalities as they did for the image of the ANC, then they would take decisive action and ensures that monies owed were paid timeously to ensure service delivery does not grind to a halt and that basic constitutional rights of residents are not threatened.

The DA will write to MEC Creecy to ensure that these monies are paid as soon as possible because the effects of non-payment will be detrimental to the wellbeing of residents.

Gauteng ANC municipalities owe Rand Water half a billion rand

The debt crisis in three ANC-run local municipalities in Gauteng, namely Mogale City, Emfuleni and Merafong City, is growing as the DA has learnt from a National Treasury report on the Division of Revenue Bill that these municipalities owe Rand Water almost half a billion Rand.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that these municipalities also collectively owed Eskom over half a billion rand.

It was revealed, at the end of their financial years, that the Emfuleni Local Municipality owes Rand Water R369-million, Merafong City owes R52-million and Mogale City R20-million. This is in addition to the massive amounts owed to Eskom.

With population growth, Gauteng needs urgent investment into new bulk water infrastructure as it is a water scarce province, but, based on payment rates to Rand Water, it is clear that the ANC is indifferent to this long-term problem.

It is lamentable that the ANC in Gauteng, which claims to be committed to good governance, have allowed their local municipalities to reach such dire financial straits.

The ANC in Gauteng prefers to maintain patronage rather than take action against ANC Mayors and office bearers who mismanage public money.

The people of Gauteng deserve a new beginning under a DA-led government where the government can pay its debts and guarantee the delivery of services. The ANC in Gauteng cannot continue to place the delivery of services, especially water, at risk.

The DA will continue to fight for good governance for all citizens, and probe why Gauteng COGTA MEC, Paul Mashatile and Gauteng Finance MEC, Barbara Creecy’s millions spent on ‘municipal support programmes’ are going to waste.

Rand Water cuts supply to Emfuleni as municipality buckles under debt crisis

09 May 2017

The DA is alarmed at the collapse of service delivery at the Emfuleni Municipality. The municipality cannot afford to pay Rand Water for an outstanding debt of R 214 million. Rand Water has subsequently lowered the water pressure by 20%.

I call on the MEC of Finance in Gauteng, Barbara Creecy, to intervene as a matter of urgency to resolve the municipality’s debt crisis. Premier Makhura reportedly instructed MEC Creecy to conduct an audit of the Emfuleni financial records. The DA will also submit written questions in the Provincial Legislature to follow up on whether the MEC did in fact conduct the audit of the municipality.

The municipality is facing a debt crisis as it owes Eskom R114 million in addition to the R 214 million that it owes to Rand Water. The municipality performs abysmally at collecting revenue. As such, it now wants to increase its overdraft to R500 million in order to pay its debts.

Maladministration and poor financial decision making are to blame for the collapse of service delivery in Emfuleni. Schools and clinics will now be placed at risk without water, while the Mayor conducts his business in luxury from the Shakespeare Hotel.

This is yet another example of how an uncaring ANC government is failing our people. The ANC has long since forgotten about the needs of the people and only cares for itself and its cadres.

Media Enquiries

Kingsol Chabalala MPL
DA Emfuleni Constituency Head
060 558 8299

Anneke Scheepers
DA Gauteng Communications Manager
079 511 7501

Merafong Loses 1.6 Million Litres Of Fresh Water Every Month

Merafong Municipality

For the past six weeks, the Merafong Municipality has done nothing to repair a burst water pipe, losing more than 1.6 million litres of fresh water per month.

The burst pipe is the result of a massive sink hole, which in itself is caused by Merafong losing 51% of its water monthly due to leaks. This has caused damage to the main water supply in the area, severely affecting supply to Khutsong Ext 3, 5 and Welverdiend.

As a result, residents are forced to rely on sporadic water supply from roving water tankers.

This sinkhole is less than 10 metres away from residential homes and is a danger to residents, especially children.

MEC Paul Mashitile

I raised the issue with Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance, Paul Mashitile, as a matter of urgency – expecting a swift response.

Instead, in a written reply from the MEC, he merely indicates that his department is aware of the problem and that funds have been secured to assist residents in receiving water from tankers.

However, there is no indication as to when the pipe will be repaired, simply that an “investigation is underway”.

Given the current drought conditions, it is unthinkable that this volume of water is simply allowed to be lost.

Debt to Rand Water

Of further concern is Merafong’s debt to Rand Water, which stands at just over R47 million over 90 days.

If left unattended, this water pipe will end up costing the municipality hundreds of millions of rand.

It is beyond belief that neither the MEC nor the municipality has taken immediate action.

I will follow this matter up with oral questions to MEC Mashatile in the Gauteng Legislature to ensure the leak is contained and residents receive the services they deserve.

 

Media enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL

DA Gauteng Constituency Head – Merafong

060 556 4344

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Thousands of litres of water wasted as Rand Water fails to fix leaks in Actonville

I have been reporting water leaks in Actonville to Rand Water since last year December. However, to date Rand Water has failed to successfully fix these leaks.

This is unacceptable as water should be spared now more than ever given the nationwide drought.

On the 11th of December 2015, I reported a water leak in Arbebeen Road coming into Mayet Drive and Link Road, Actonville with reference number 1724604. The pipe that burst belongs to Rand Water and I sent an email to the Head of Ekurhuleni Metro Water Department and Chief Area Engineer, Mr Vincent Nkosi.

On the same day Mr Nkosi copied me into an email sent to employees stating that Rand Water must be informed of the leak as a matter of urgency. However, two days later I received calls from residents reporting that the pipe is still leaking. I again reported this information via email to Mr Nkosi.

On the 14th of December I was informed that the leak has been fixed, but on the 15th of December the pipe was leaking again.

I reported the new leak to Mr Nkosi but did not receive a reply for more than a month. By the 14th of January this year the pipe was still leaking and I again reported it to him. I reported the leaks again on the 20th and 25th of January respectively.

On the 26th of January I received a response from Mr Simon Molefi Xaba, Senior Manager of Capital Projects for Rand Water, stating that the pipeline is experiencing leaks due to excessive corrosion. Mr Xaba further stated that Rand Water is being assisted by the Ekurhuleni Metro to install AC power for the purpose of activating the cathodic protection after which sections of the corroded pipes will be replaced and in the meantime they have assigned a contractor to fix the leaks as they occur.

However, neither the Ekurhuleni Metro nor Rand Water has not been able to tend to this leak to date.

The pipe is still leaking (pictures attached) due to a lack of maintenance by Rand Water and as a result thousands of litres of precious water is going to waste.

By the end of March, thousands of Muslims will come to Actonville for the Ijtima Congregation and if the leak is still not fixed by then, Actonville will be plagued by traffic congestion because residents seek alternative routes to avoid the leak and water will be extremely scarce.

 

Media enquiries:

Haseena Ismail

PR Councillor: Ward 29, Benoni

0823784991 / 0725218031

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DA submits petition calling on EMM and Rand Water to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water & Sanitation

The Democratic Alliance has submitted a petition to Parliament calling for both Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation.

Gauteng, and the rest of the country, is experiencing the worst drought in 23 years.

In Ekurhuleni this drought has been compounded by poor management by Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality (EMM), which has resulted in water shortages in the municipality and many households’ taps running dry.

To date over 1200 residents have signed the petition, which calls for the Portfolio Committee to interrogate Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro to give deadlines as to when:

  1. Rand Water will install independent power supplies at all of its pump stations;
  2. Ekurhuleni Metro will implement the computerised telemetry system – so that they can verify, at a push of a button, the levels of water at their reservoirs, instead of using the sick method;
  3. Their action plan to repair water infrastructure as Ekurhuleni is losing 39.8% of all its water; and
  4. The reasons why the financial statements submitted to Gauteng Treasury showed that at the end of the 2014/15 financial year in June, the Ekurhuleni Metro had only spent 48% of the R127 million budgeted for waste water management and had failed to spend 46% of the R333 million allocated to water services.

Residents who have not signed the petition can still do so by going to the following link www.petitions24.com/water_crisis

Media Enquiries:

Mike Waters MP

DA Lethabong Constituency Head

DA Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament

082 902 4523

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DA petitions EMM and Rand Water to appear before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Water & Sanitation

Gauteng, and the rest of the country, is experiencing the worst drought in 23 years.

In Ekurhuleni this drought has been compounded by poor management by Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro Municipality (EMM), which has resulted in water shortages in the municipality and many households’ taps running dry.

South Africans have for far too long suffered due to the failure by the ANC government at a national, provincial and local level.

The current water crisis in Ekurhuleni could have been avoided had Rand Water implemented the plan they presented to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on 25 February 2015.

Given the water crisis that hit Ekurhuleni last year September one would have expected Rand Water to implement their own solutions as a matter of urgency.

In addition it is unacceptable that Ekurhuleni Metro still have not implemented a Telemetry System (a computer system) that would immediately alert them when reservoirs are running low. The days of using sticks to determine water levels are long gone.

The DA has therefore launched a petition calling on both Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro to appear before the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation in order to provide details and timeframes as to when:

  • Rand Water will install independent power supplies at all of its pump stations; and
  • Ekurhuleni Metro will implement the computerised telemetry system.

Rand Water and the Ekurhuleni Metro also need to provide their action plan to repair and maintain water infrastructure as Ekurhuleni is losing 39.8% of its water on a yearly basis and the reasons why the financial statements submitted to Gauteng Treasury showed that at the end of the 2014/15 financial year in June, the Ekurhuleni Metro had only spent 48% of the R127 million budgeted for waste water management and had failed to spend 46% of the R333 million allocated to water services.

The DA’s petition can be signed online: www.petitions24.com/water_crisis

To ensure a secure water supply in Ekurhuleni, even in time of drought, the DA would implement the following steps:

  • Ensure Rand Water’s pump station has an independent power supply so that the station can always pump water;
  • Ensure that the Ekurhuleni Metro implements a telemetry (computer) system which will alert them when reservoirs are running low;
  • Set up a water-crisis war room to allocate scarce water resources as an immediate priority to avoid water outages; and
  • Implement a water maintenance plan, to ensure water loss through leaks is mitigated.

The DA run City of Cape Town loses the least amount of water due to leakages of all metro’s in South Africa with a loss of 16.4% vs a 37.8% loss in the Ekurhuleni Metro.

The DA also has a 10-point plan to fight the water crisis at a national government level:

  • Implement a water pipeline replacement Programme, which is expedited where leakages are worst;
  • Set up a 24 hour call centre, which dispatches repair teams that will fix burst pipes and leakages around the clock;
  • Install special pressure-reducing valves at key points in the water network in order to reduce water pressure in designated water zones;
  • Legislate the use of non-potable water for irrigation in all municipalities in the country;
  • Install water allocation devices, which ensure that indigent homes use their free allocation;
  • Make use of existing pipeline camera technology that can detect leaks and faulty water pipes;
  • Provide better free-allocation of water, to avoid illegal water connections;
  • Ensure that every municipality sets up a system whereby leaking pipes are completely replaced after a set number of complaints by residents and not simply patched over and over again as well as implement a Gravity Feed water supply, and install generators at water pumps to circumvent load shedding water cuts;
  • Implement punitive tariffs for businesses that overuse water, after negotiated limits are agreed to; and
  • Increase mobile water tanker fleets, afforded by immediate cuts in wasteful and fruitless expenditure.

The DA is committed to ensuring that where we govern, all residents have access to water, which is their basic right.

Media Enquiries:

Mike Waters MP

DA Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament

082 902 4523

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Water crisis: DA calls Rand Water and Ekurhuleni Metro to appear before Portfolio Committee on Water & Sanitation

Rand Water need to come clean and explain to the residents of Gauteng why its Eikenhof Pump Station reportedly stopped pumping water due to a power failure.

This is contradictory to the information they supplied Parliament assuring Parliament that they will ensure their pump station will have its own independent power supply per site.

The current water crisis in Gauteng – especially in the East Rand – could have been avoided had Rand Water implemented the plan they presented to the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on 25 February 2015.

Mr Percy Sechemane, the Chief Executive of Rand Water was called before the Portfolio Committee when the DA handed a petition into Parliament when the last water crisis hit the East Rand in September 2014.

The Democratic Alliance wants the following answers from Rand Water:

  1. Why they have not installed the independent power supply; and
  2. By which date are they planning on doing so

Given the crisis that hit Gauteng last year one would have expected Rand Water to implement their own solutions as a matter of urgency.

In addition it is unacceptable that Ekurhuleni Metro still have not implemented a Telemetry System (a computer system) that would immediately alert them when reservoirs are running low. The days of using sticks to determine water levels are long gone.

The DA will be requesting that both Rand Water and Ekurhuleni Metro appear before the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation in order to give deadlines as to when:

  1. Rand Water will install independent power supplies at all of its pump stations;
  2. Ekurhuleni Metro will implement the computerised telemetry system;
  3. Their action plan to repair water infrastructure as Ekurhuleni is losing 39.8% of all its water; and
  4. The reasons why the financial statements submitted to Gauteng Treasury showed that at the end of the 2014/15 financial year in June, the Ekurhuleni Metro had only spent 48% of the R127 million budgeted for waste water management and had failed to spend 46% of the R333 million allocated to water services.

It is unacceptable that the Ekurhuleni Metro has failed to spend just over R200 million allocated to water and sewerage infrastructure during the previous financial year when the municipality had a water crisis last year and another one is now looming.

Media Enquiries:

Mike Waters MP

DA Lethabong Constituency Head

DA Deputy Chief Whip in Parliament

082 902 4523

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Thousands affected as sinkhole swallows Carletonville water supply line

Poor maintenance

A sinkhole which appeared over the main water supply line to Carletonville is nothing more than a result of poor maintenance.

While water has been restored to the town through emergency supplies from Rand Water; further cuts are likely if this issue is not addressed in its entirety.

Click here to view pictures.

Many people assume that sinkholes are a natural disaster, but most are caused by water from leaking pipes seeping into the dolomite below the lines.

Leaking pipes

In fact more than 52% of water in Merafong is lost every month due to ageing and deteriorating structures, despite the local municipality insisting that they have a water loss management plan.

The people of Carletonville will continue to face interrupted and inconsistent water supply unless long-term measures are put in place to upgrade and maintain these lines.

The Executive Director of Infrastructure Development for the municipality has admitted that it will cost more than R900 million to get this infrastructure back to adequate levels.

Constitution

The fact remains that Merafong simply does not have the funds and the DA reiterates its call for a provincial intervention in terms of Section 139(1)(b) of the Constitution.

Until this happens the residents of Merafong will continue to suffer without basic access to vital water supplies. Coupled with other critical delivery failures, those living in this municipality will not receive the services they deserve.

Media Enquiries:

Ina Cilliers MPL
Constituency Head: Merafong
060 556 4344