Since 2018 The Bulletin has been reporting on the ongoing water problems, water wastage and debt to Rand Water in the Govan Mbeki Municipality.
Bethal residents were without water for 42 days during December 2018 and it has been an ongoing dilemma for the residents.
Rand Water stated that they had reduced the water pressure in Govan Mbeki to 40%. This causes high-lying areas to experience little or no water pressure. This is because the gravitational system struggles to pump water to these higher-lying areas as the pressure is too low. Rand Water has now threatened to reduce the water pressure to 60%. GMM will stay on the 40% water pressure reduction as is now.
To top it all off, the water loss because of burst pipes etc. was at a staggering 32.29% at the end of January this year. To elucidate, 32.29% of water that the Govan Mbeki Municipality purchases from Rand Water, is being wasted because of water leaks, burst pipes etc. that are not being maintained properly nor being fixed in a timely manner. This also contributes massively to GMM’s debt to Rand Water.
In August 2019 DA Cllr Mariaan Chamberlain tabled a motion to the council and the motion was referred to the Mayoral Committee. The motion was accepted on 29 August 2019 but the opposition party is still waiting for an answer. Almost 7 months later and they are still waiting on an answer from the Mayoral Committee…
The motion that was tabled stated the following:
- That a progress report on implementation of the turnaround strategy aimed at water leaks and freshwater wastage accompanies the Rand Water standing item on the Council Agenda
- That a water meter and reservoir audit be conducted to identify faulty meters that must be replaced and maintenance that must be done on reservoirs
- That faulty water meters and stop valves be replaced
- That the municipality ensure that there is sufficient stock for repair and maintenance of water infrastructure
- That the municipality ensure that there are enough personnel capable to attend to repair and maintenance of water infrastructure
- That the by-law enforcement unit compile a plan to deal with vandalism of water infrastructure
- That wherever the municipality does not have the necessary funding to implement the above, these recommendations be included in the next adjustment budget
The Bulletin spoke to Caucus Leader of the official opposition party, DA Cllr Ciska Jordaan. Cllr Jordaan said: “At the end of January 2020, the ANC-led Govan Mbeki Municipality was owing an astounding amount of R218 432 429.44 towards Rand Water.”
“On Tuesday, 17 March, there was a financial meeting. The municipality negotiated with Rand Water last week to reduce the R11 million a week payment to R8 million. This new verbal agreement could avoid the 20% water pressure reduction that was suggested and GMM will stay on 40% water pressure at the moment.”
Cllr Jordaan also informed The Bulletin that the DA has launched a public petition: “The Democratic Alliance has launched a petition with reference to water wastage, neglect of the Govan Mbeki Municipality to pay its escalating account towards Rand Water and the dire necessity of maintenance of water infrastructure within the municipality that is needed to curb Rand Water debt and ensure consistent water supply to communities.”
This petition is to support the motion that was tabled by DA Cllr Mariaan Chamberlain on 29 August 2019.
“The unwillingness of the ANC to implement practical measures to deal with critical concerns of the people we serve and ensure that their right of access to water is upheld is clearly politically motivated,” said Cllr Jordaan.
She continued: “This is demonstrated by their neglect of seriously considering and implementing DA motions related to service delivery.”
Cllr Jordaan also said that GMM residents are urged to take this opportunity to support the DA to pressure the ANC-led Mayoral Committee of the Govan Mbeki Municipality by signing this petition to ensure that the DA’s motion is implemented sooner rather than later.
“Residents are urged to take their chance in the 2021 Local Government Elections to change the status quo and vote for a Party that delivers for all. Residents of Govan Mbeki deserve a ruling party that would react towards their needs, service their constitutional rights and prioritise service delivery above all else,” Cllr Jordaan appealed.
You can follow this link should you wish to sign the petition: https://petitions.da.org.za/p/waterinfrastructureimplementation