Water flows, but . . .

2019-08-07 06:00
Children from Rocklands in Bloemfontein enjoy fetching water at a burst pipe and playing at the same time. The pipe that supplies drinking water was fixed hours after millions of water had gone to waste. Photo: Teboho Setena

Children from Rocklands in Bloemfontein enjoy fetching water at a burst pipe and playing at the same time. The pipe that supplies drinking water was fixed hours after millions of water had gone to waste. Photo: Teboho Setena

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The water supply predicament in recent days in the Mangaung Metro Municipality’s area was due to Bloemwater’s maintenance.

Bloemwater explained that interruption was not due to the alleged city council default on payment.

Interruptions was experienced in northern and southern areas of the city last week.

Kido Thoabala, spokesperson for Bloemwater, said maintenance was completed last week, saying proactive measures were in place to ensure the completion of maintenance.

Early completion of maintenance to the infrastructure ruled out a 36 hour period of water-shedding.

However, the problem of water supply to residents remains as the two parties, Mangaung Metro and the supplier, Bloemwater, are still embroiled in a bitter dispute due to counter allegations of non-payment. The two parties have since resorted to a legal route.

Bloemwater had its earlier decision to reduce water supply to 30% to the cash-strapped Mangaung overturned by the Free State High Court.

This followed an urgent successful interdict application by the municipality after water was reduced.

On 16 July the High Court ruled in favour of Mangaung that notice of water restriction should be done in accordance with the Water Services Act, which stipulates a period of 30 days.

The notice of water interruption was due to the municipality’s apparent failure to pay its debt of millions owed to the water supplier.

Subsequent to the water restriction and outcome of the High Court application, Qondile Khedama, spokesperson for the Mangaung Metro, said on 11 July the Mangaung Metro paid R29,2 million to Bloemwater after mediation by the National Treasury.

According to Khedama, the payment dispelled the notion that the city was not complying or not doing its due diligence of paying the water entity.

According to Thoabala however, water restriction will be imposed after 17 August should the status of non-payment persists.

She explained that the provider will comply with the court order to give the Mangaung authority a notice of 30 days to pay the outstanding amount before taking action to reduce water supply by 30%, which will negatively affect consumers, including businesses.

Informed sources said water-shedding was still looming as the trouble-ridden Mangaung Metro is required to pay the supplier a whopping R419 million.

Payment is expected by 17 August to avoid a water crisis.

Thoabala pointed out that earlier this year Bloemwater issued a notice of restriction of 30 days on 15 March, and several notices followed for automatic restrictions due to non-payment.

She said the recent notice of 30 days issued on 15 July followed that issued in March.

Bloemwater provides 69% of the water to the residents of Bloemfontein and 31% receive water from the Maselspoort plant, which belongs to the Mangaung Municipality.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
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.