News24

Water boards owed R1bn+

2010-04-06 16:07

Cape Town - Some municipalities are falling further behind on their payments to water boards, the Democratic Alliance warned on Tuesday.

A recent written reply by Water Affairs Minister Buyelwa Sonjica to a parliamentary question showed the total amount owing was now well over R1bn, DA MP Gareth Morgan said in a statement.

"Over a billion rand owed to water boards is extraordinarily high and must surely hamper the ability of many water boards to operate effectively and to make the required infrastructure investments," he said.

Several water boards appeared to be in a perilous situation.

"Lepelle Northern Water has over R249m owing to it, of which over R231m is arrears. Bushbuckridge Water has over R151m owing to it, of which R147m is arrears, while Sedibeng has R146m owing to it, with over R121m being arrears," Morgan said.

According to Sonjica's reply, municipalities owe water boards a total of R1.2bn. Of this amount, R653m is current debt and R609m arrears.