Gauteng municipalities spend billions on water tankers, leaving less money for service delivery

Gauteng municipalities spent R2 367 014 126,30 over five years on hiring water tankers, funds which could have been used to improve service delivery. This information was revealed in a reply to the Democratic Alliance’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo.

Since 2018, the following amount of money has been spent on renting water tankers:

Rand West R0,00
Mogale City R260 285 713,84
Merafong R9 365 748 ,41
Lesedi Local Municipality R3 732 400,00
Joburg R306 381 951,36
City if Ekurhuleni R135 326 540,44
Tshwane R1 661 287 520,65
Total R2 367 014 126,30

This year, Mogale City stopped renting water tankers and procured their own. The DA demands that MEC Khumalo urgently intervene in this situation and assist municipalities in procuring their own water tankers to save costs.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, it became evident that having access to clean drinking water is essential to prevent the spread of Covid and other water-borne diseases.

Through all the mechanisms in place, we will apply pressure on the MEC to assist municipalities in formulating a plan that ensures that more money is made available for procuring resources for basic service delivery instead of outsourcing.

Emfuleni spends over R65 million on water tankers, yet residents do not have access to water

Thousands of residents in parts of Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) are being deprived of access to an uninterrupted water supply despite the municipality paying contractors R65 251 020,39 for water tankers.

Many residents claim that they go weeks without getting water from the tankers. This is unacceptable as access to water is a basic right, and the contractors are paid to render this service. The affected residents are now forced to either buy water or commute to neighbouring areas to fetch it.

In the past three financial years, the following companies were hired and paid millions to distribute water with tankers to Emfuleni residents: Downtown Spares CC, Plexiphon 213 CC, and Alsandro Construction Pty.

Below are the monies paid to the contractors in the past three years:

• In 2019/2020, DWS implemented the project in Emfuleni.
• 2020/21: R12 514 656, 13
• 2021/22: R24 862 798, 26
• 2022/23: R27 873 566,00

This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Khumalo, all contractors were awarded a three-year contract.

Emfuleni must learn from the previous DA-led multi-party coalition in Mogale City, which procured 12 water tankers instead of outsourcing.

Over R65 million is too much to be spent on outsourcing water tankers. The DA proposes that Emfuleni prioritises investing in fixing existing water infrastructure to ensure residents have access to an uninterrupted water supply.

We will also table follow-up questions to MEC Khumalo to ascertain how many people have benefited from these water tankers and if the municipality has plans to procure its own tankers.