White commercial farmers 'live large' off stolen water - MP

2016-03-04 18:30
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Johannesburg – White commercial farmers are involved in the rampant theft of water, the chairperson of Parliament's portfolio committee on water and sanitation said on Friday.

Mlungisi Johnson claimed that farmers in the Vaal River, Gariep Dam and Humansdorp areas were known to steal water from municipalities. 

"White commercial farmers have become so rampant... The commercial farmers there live large, paying nothing for water stolen and not synthesized," he said at the SA Local Government Association release of the 2015 Water Services Municipal benchmarking report.

"While South Africans continue to cry foul about drought, water continues to remain in some few hands all in the name of water right owners contradicting a notion that says water is owned by the state and that the minister is a custodian of the resource," he said.

Johnson said they could not quantify how much they had lost from the alleged theft, but said it was a large amount.

"Frankly speaking, that is the major challenge that we are not able to quantify."

Johnson told News24 that the mining sector was also involved in water theft.

"At some point we had a figure of 104 mines that were operating without any water license, this is a matter that is called rampant..." he said.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  water  |  drought

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