Municipalities across Gauteng owe water utility provider Rand Water just under R5-billion for water.
While some municipalities have responded to Rand Water’s call for them to pay for the water received, the utility still faces a significant challenge in collecting the outstanding debts.
The R4.62-billion cumulative debt is shared among municipalities, including the Emfuleni, Govan Mbeki, Merafong, RandWest, Victor Khanye and Ngwathe local municipalities, across Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Free State.
“Rand Water’s financial sustainability, which impacts the current and future provision of water, depends on municipalities paying for the water they receive from Rand Water,” the water provider said in a statement on Friday.
The lack of revenue generation is risking Rand Water’s planned infrastructure development projects to improve the provision of water services.
Rand Water, as part of its options available, including alternative means, to recover monies owed to it, attached the bank account of the Emfuleni local municipality. However, owing to what Rand Water described as “persistent interference” from the municipality, funds have not yet been recovered.
“Rand Water is proactively engaging with various government entities through the inter-governmental relations process. While certain municipalities are struggling to pay within the agreed timelines, others are unable to meet their payment commitments.”
Rand Water, calling on defaulting municipalities to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation, urges municipalities to pay for the water they receive, commit to collaboration to develop payment plans that they will be able to adhere to and proactively cooperate with Rand Water to find mutually beneficial resolutions.
“By working together, we can devise sustainable payment plans and mechanisms to recover the outstanding amounts, thereby ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of both the municipalities and Rand Water.”