Three local councils on problem list

2010-02-04 00:00

THE Msunduzi, Sisonke and Umgungundlovu municipalities were revealed as being on the problem list of councils whose water treatment works were not up to scratch during parliament’s public hearings on service delivery yesterday.

eThekweni Metro, on the other hand, was said to have both a Blue Drop Certification — meaning their drinking water is of an excellent quality, and a Green Drop Certification — meaning that their waste water treatment works are in excellent order.

The hearings heard that the effects of years of inadequate infrastructure maintenance, poor management and serious skills shortages in local governments were responsible for the problem municipalities.

Nobubele Ngele, acting director-general of the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs, told the ad hoc committee on service delivery that only 30 of the country’s 283 municipalities have water services that are currently functioning properly.

The department recently assessed municipalities on seven critical areas and found water services throughout the country to be in various stages of collapse.

Up to 23 municipalities are already in a “terrible crisis” and do not have the ability to treat sewage water and to supply safe drinking water. According to Ngele’s submission, there exists an “acute risk” of the outbreak of diseases.

A further 99 municipalities will be in the same boat by July if national government does not intervene right now. Yet another 110 municipalities appear on the “risk list”.

Committee members also heard that some municipalities underspent on maintenance work for many years in order to save money and “so that their books could balance”. “Now they’re sitting with infrastructure that has seriously deteriorated.”

Environment Minister Buyelwa Sonjica undertook to submit a report to parliament on the quality of drinking water in municipalities throughout the country by the end of the month.

An audit was done at 435 water purification plants last year and 23 municipalities’ drinking water was classified as outstanding (Blue Drop Status).

The department also conducted an audit at 277 of the 522 registered sewage purification plants, and 32 received the highest mark (Green Drop Status).

Sonjica said her greatest frustration is that, in terms of the Constitution, her department has only limited powers to intervene in municipalities.

 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.