The water board has, however, declined to comment on the municipality’s mammoth debt for services rendered. Bloem Water spokesperson, Kido Thoabala, says they have reached a service level agreement with Kopanong on the much publicised debt, which at 2018 was nearing R200 million.
The amount of money Kopanong – which falls under the Xhariep District – owes to Bloem Water came under scrutiny in June 2018, when the provincial government, led by Premier Sisi Ntombela, stepped in to assist the municipality to make payment to the water board following protests in Jagersfontein over severe water restrictions on the municipality.
The mining town at the time was already facing issues with water supply due to the infrastructure when the restrictions were imposed. In July 2018, the municipality installed section valves in Jagersfontein to ensure that water supply reaches all residents, especially those in uphill areas.
Kopanong has also come under the radar for the money owed to third parties with the Free State High Court last month questioning why no criminal action has been taken against the officials responsible.
OFM News/OLEBOGENG MOTSE