Municipality badly run

THERE were some interesting revelations at the last meeting of the Ugu District Council in July.

A report covering the Umhlabatshane Bulk Water Supply Scheme showed that variation orders had been necessary to cover some extra costs. The municipality had signed an agreement with Inkosi Dlamini that all the river sand used in the project would be obtained from the Inkosi at the rate of R150 per cubic metre.

However, when the project got under way Inkosi Dlamini, arbitrarily it seems to be, upped the price to R250 per cubic metre. As a result the municipality had to refund the contractor who, in terms of the agreement, had to purchase the river sand from Inkosi Dlamini.

The long delayed minutes of the meeting of the executive committee held on 4 May were eventually tabled at council, under the heading “Progress report on outsourcing meter reading”.

However, it was revealed that there was no report. This is odd in the light of the fact that the debtors book stands at nearly R300 million (yes that is R50 million more than Nkandla), and that the auditors had stressed the importance of Ugu markedly improving its billing of its customers.

As previously observed nobody could say how many meters were connected to the system, or how often meters are actually read. Does the ANC in this instance stand for “Another Nkandla Coming”?

Under the Green Drop Report, which covers all the waste water treatment plants in KZN, it was revealed that Ugu, as the water services authority, had experienced a dramatic deterioration in the risk profile of the plants since 2013. It is now critical in three plants, and at high risk in all the others in the water service authority.

Within Ugu itself Mbango was the worst performing waste water treatment plant, suggesting that this plant should enjoy priority.

It gets no better with the Blue Drop Report which deals with the purity of the potable water provided by Ugu Treatment Plants.

There was a dramatic drop in purity from 93% to 66% in this same period. There appears to be some vagueness in the chain of command in dealing with this problem as no single official appeared to be clearly in charge of rectifying the situation.

When the good voters in the municipality that make up the Ugu area make their crosses in the national lection in three years time they might reflect on just how badly the ANC is running the Ugu District down to rags and tatters.

Dave Snashall

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