Taps to run at 30% due to non-payment

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Residents of Bloemfontein can expect a mere 30% of their normal water supply to run from their taps this morning. This as slow running taps will once again hit Mangaung after claims of non-payment against the municipality.

Bloem Water expressed that water supply would be decreased from Monday 15 July 2019 and all areas of Mangaung Metro Municipality would be affected until further notice. This is despite the two entities having sat through mediations since earlier this year to resolve issues of non-payment.

“The mediation processes that took place on 21st February and 4th July 2019, ruled that Mangaung Metro Municipality should pay the outstanding accounts. Unfortunately that has not been happening,” stated Bloem Water spokesperson, Kido Thoabala.

The claim of ongoing non-payment has a negative effect on the ability of the Water Board to provide water to residents. “The ongoing non-payment by Mangaung Metro Municipality to Bloem Water has a huge negative operational expenditure impact on raw water purchases, procurement of chemicals, payment to Eskom for electricity, employees’ benefits, operational projects, capital and loan obligations among other matters, which are integral to the very business of the Water Board,” explained Thoabala.

There have been claims in the past that Bloem Water was in fact the one who owed the Metro instead. Municipal spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, reportedly said that the city has been overcharged on raw water and demanded a refund of more than R311 million from the Water Board.

Khedama expressed that this refund is owing to Bloem Water’s alleged failure to comply with the Service Level Agreement it has with the municipality. However, Thoabala stated that during mediations on the 4th July 2019 it was ruled that should there be other new issues such as Service Level Agreement from Mangaung Metro, it is free to follow the same mediation process.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele

nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za