The water board spokesperson, Kido Thoabala, tells OFM News this follows a court judgment on July 16 that ordered the water board to lift its water restriction as it was deemed to be invalid. Kido says because of the court order the initial warning to close taps falls away and water restriction cannot be implemented. OFM News previously revealed the metro was given an ultimatum to pay a total of R419 million owed to the Bloem Water Board by today, or face water disruptions. Kido says the water board can issue another warning or implement a water restriction only if proper procedure is followed. OFM News has since sent detailed questions to the metro, who has yet to respond.
Thoabala recently said it was previously agreed during the mediation process by National Treasury that the metro would pay off the outstanding debt over a 12 month period from May 2019, and Bloem Water would write off the interest of the debt. But, the municipality has failed to comply with this. Municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, told OFM News recently that they indeed paid R29,2 million in July. He said this proved the municipality did adhere to the payment agreement, as disputed by Bloem Water. Democratic Alliance (DA) Ward 25 councillor, Rossouw Botes, however said during a media briefing at the Naval Hill reservoir last month, he did not foresee the metro paying the money owed to the water board in 30 days, as requested by the entity.