Plughole threatens uThukela Water

2007-11-13 00:00

Uthukela Water has been given until February next year to shape up or face drastic measures, which could include the liquidation of the entire company.

This was the decision of the Local Government and Traditional Affairs portfolio committee meeting held yesterday at the Provincial Legislature.

Lionel Pienaar of the Department of Local Government told the committee that a performance assessment of the organisation is currently under way and that depending on its outcome, an administrator could be appointed to either make the necessary improvements or liquidate the company.

The beleaguered water service authority has been in trouble after it emerged during a forensic audit that it is a private entity.

According to a report presented to the committee, the shares of the company were transferred to the parent municipalities on September 11, with Newcastle District Municipality receiving 34 shares , Amajuba District 33 and Umzinyathi District 33.

The committee heard that one of their biggest problems is the company's exorbitant operating costs. They also do not provide bulk water, which is a function they are supposed to deliver.

With a plan of action now having been developed, Umgeni Water has been called in to assist uThukela Water by providing technical support, and to help them comply with service level requirements.

Departmental HoD Gabi Gumbi-Mayisela said that the department wants more accounting to

the shareholders and needs to ensure proper management of resources.

The committee agreed that the board will be given three months to show that it was performing, or it would be dissolved.

Municipalities, including uMvoti Municipality, have been vocal in their criticism of uThukela's tentative water supply.

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