Bfn water crisis: Bloem Water sets the record straight

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2011

Water utility, BloemWater, has stated that statements made both by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) are false.
On Tuesday, the DA issued a notice informing residents that water supply to the metro would immediately be shut off owing to MMM’s failure to pay its March 2018 account. Subsequently, MMM then issued a jabbing statement, which rubbished the DA’s claims as “blue lies” and part of a plan to bring instability to its administration.
The statement issued by municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said that the City was working on paying its current account since its meeting with the Minister of Water and Sanitation.
Khedama also said that Council approved the payment plan on 26 April and the second payment of R22 million was processed last week Friday.
He further asserted that The City is complying with the arrangement and will pay the account for April 2018 by end of May 2018. “We are awaiting BloemWater to provide its reconciliation in order for the figures to be aligned on both sides,” Khedama said in the statement.
It has been reported that the municipality owes the water entity over R680 million, with about R260 million of that amount being in arrears.
BloemWater, however, retorted both statements and said that both the MMM and the DA were not being truthful in their reporting to citizens.
The water board told Courant that the DA was incorrect in its claims that water would be shut off immediately and stated that it would thus only supply the municipality with about 30% of the normal water supply. Furthermore, it said that MMM was not being truthful when it said that it has made a payment, as thus far, no payments had been received on the account of the water bill.
The DA remains adamant, however, that its information was accurate as investigations on these matters were done by councillors and through “credible and reliable” sources.
It also denies claims made by MMM’s Executive Mayor, Olly Mlamleli, who allegedly said that the DA was trying to fuel conflict between BloemWater and the Municipality.
“We, therefore, urge the Executive Mayor to supply reasons, together with evidence, as to why areas in Bloemfontein and surrounding towns were without water on Monday and yesterday in order to support the said allegations. We as the DA again affirm that we are committed to serving the public and to inform the public of all situations that we deem necessary to ensure the least amount of disruption in the communities,” the opposition party said in a statement it issued on Wednesday afternoon.
Higher parts of Universitas, Fichardt Park, Langenhoven Park, General De Wet among others were affected by water cuts and low water presure. “Those shortages related to normal daily operations. They had nothing to do with non-payment,” Khedama said.

PULANE CHOANE 
pulane@centralmediagroup.co.za