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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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    GMM faces water shortages due to non-payment

    Residents to suffer yet again with water restrictions looming

    Residents will once again carry the brunt of Govan Mbeki Municipality’s (GMM) inability to bring their spiralling debtors under control.

    National Media Houses have reported on Rand Water’s intended restrictions. GMM is currently being restricted with a 40% reduction on water flow. This restriction has already affected several households throughout GMM. Higher lying areas bearing most of the restrictions. 

    Rand Water spokesperson, Justice Mohale said that Rand Water has formally notified three of its municipal customers of its intention to reduce water pressure. This does not mean that the water pressure has been reduced by 60% yet.

    The Govan Mbeki Municipality had an overdue amount owed to Rand Water of R47 million as arranged with the municipality. The municipality had been informed that its failure to pay the amount due would compel Rand Water to further reduce the flow of water supply by 20 percent on Monday. This was in addition to the 40 percent water reduction currently being implemented. The total amount owed to Rand Water by the municipality was R245,890,637 according to IOL.

    The GMM council took note of a standing item on their agenda regarding Rand Water for the month of January 2020 a total amount of R59 444 514 was paid towards the municipality’s Rand Water Account and that a total amount of R218 432 429.44 remains outstanding.

    This is different from the Rand Water statement, but this can be contributed to different dates of reporting.

    The Bulletin visited the Rand Water website to verify some facts. The Rand Water website stated the following: “Municipal customers account for 95% of total demand, with direct supply to mines making up most of the balance.”

    Rand Water’s Customers:

    Metropolitan Municipal Councils:

    • City of Joburg,
    • City of Ekurhuleni,
    • City of Tshwane.

    13 Municipalities:

    • Emfuleni,
    • Govan Mbeki,
    • Lesedi, Madibeng,
    • Merafong,
    • Metsimaholo, 
    • Midvaal, 
    • Mogale City,
    • Ngwathe, 
    • Randwest, 
    • Rustenburg, 
    • Thembisile Hani, 
    • Victor Khanye,
    • Royal Bafokeng Administration.

    40 Mines and 926 industries and direct customers.

    GMM logo

    “The defaulting municipalities are aware that the offices of the Minister for Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, the respective provincial MECs for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well the National Treasury, have been informed of the intended implementation of the credit-control measures,” Mohale said.

    GMM has tabled several Turn Around strategies but has now shifted the blame to the non-functionality of the previous financial system. 

    GMM is also not adhering to current legislation as written in the Municipal Finance Management Act, Act 56 of 2003. This act, under section 65(e), states that all money owing by the municipality be paid within 30 days of receiving the relevant invoice or statement unless prescribed otherwise for certain categories of expenditure.

    Previous non-payments of bulk services that affected residents resulted in large scale violence in which the Emba Mall suffered huge losses due to the partial burning of the mall by angry residents. 

    Let us hope this issue will be resolved soon and GMM can meet their obligations.

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    GMM faces water shortages due to non-payment