Water crisis compounds the troubles of municipality

2017-06-28 06:01

Residents in the greater Mangaung Metro Municipality were left in despair after water was cut abruptly on Wednesday (21/06).

BloemWater cut the supply to 30%.

The supply of water was cut and reduced due to the trouble-ridden municipality’s failure to pay debt of R340 million.

Residents were in despair, as they were unaware that water would be cut.

Water was re-connected after the ANC-led municipality made an undertaking to pay R10 million and R20 million instalments towards settling the huge debt.

Rossouw Botes, DA councillor of the Mangaung council, said a dispute of R90 million between the embattled Mangaung council and the supplier is part of the R340 million.

Botes revealed the municipality was yet to pay its account of R60 million for the month of May and it is believed to be part of the R340 million debt.

Ernest Mohlahlo, chief financial officer of the Mangaung Metro, said the dispute is about R100 million, but said BloemWater apparently considers writing off the huge debt, because the supplier could have overrated.

The water crisis compounds the troubles of the embattled ANC-led municipality which is still faced with the challenge of dealing with the strike by more than 4 000 employees affiliated with the South African Municipality Workers Union (Samwu). A series of meetings held have proven futile, as no deal was struck.

Earlier this week, it was understood that the union had accepted the muni-cipality’s counter offer of R2 500, following intervention by the ruling party’s provincial executive committee.

Apparently the provincial ANC pursued the Mangaung Metro to agree to employ temporary workers permanently and increase salaries of all the workers by R2 500, as opposed to the R3 000 the union demanded. Informed sources said the disagreement on once-off payment in back payment of R40 000 to qualifying workers remains a bone of ­contention.

The amount in question dates back to 2011, when the Mangaung Municipality was upgraded to a metro, with Thabo Manyoni as the inaugural mayor.

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