Municipality dumps Rand Water, ending R24m monthly bill

2019-02-05 17:05
Water drop - Google Free Image

Water drop - Google Free Image

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A municipality in Mpumalanga has ended its contract with the Rand Water Board, opting to sort itself out instead – at a fraction of the cost.

According to Bushbuckridge Mayor Sylvia Nxumalo, the municipality was paying about R24m a month to the board for the supply of water.

"We estimate that we will be able to save about R15m per month to do it ourselves.

"Two years ago, we already found that in future, our budget will not be able to pay such an amount to Rand Water.”

Council takeover

Responsibility for 147 employees, who work for the Rand Water Board on the municipal bulk water supply project, will now be taken over by the council.

"Once all plans are in place, we will also take over the rest of the staff who are currently working for Rand Water on the municipality's reticulation project. For this project, we set aside R30m."

Currently, 85% of all the households in the municipality are being supplied with running water.

The mayor says this supply will improve when they start extracting purified water from the Sabie River.

The council will make use of boreholes to complete the servicing of stands which still don't have access to running water.

Snails

Meanwhile, the Thaba Chweu Local Municipality in Lydenburg is struggling with water issues. 

The water purification works have been dysfunctional for a number of years.

Farhat Essack, Mpumalanga's DA representative in the national council of provinces (NCOP) said he was shocked at what he found when he visited the purification plant.

"Hardly anything at the plant is functional. When residents open a tap, the water is brown in colour. It is not fit for human consumption," he said.

"Staff at the plant said most of the equipment has been out of order for as long as two years. The worst discovery was when I found live snails in the storage tank from where water is pumped to the town."

The plant has been operating without flocculant for the past two weeks. Flocculant is used to bind fine particles in sludge in the plant to ensure that at least 70% of the water is clean after recycling.

Essack reported the matter to the Green Scorpions.

Efforts to get comment from the municipality were unsuccessful.

Read more on:    rand water  |  mbombela  |  water
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