24 February 2017

South Africa: Committee Sends Lepelle Water Board Packing

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The Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation has resolved to send away a delegation from Lepelle Northern Water and the Department of Water and Sanitation. The primary reason for not entertaining the delegation was that only the Chairperson of the Board was present despite the Committee clearly emphasising the need for the entire board to appear before the Committee.

On the agenda for the meeting was a report-back on the 2015/2016 annual report of the water board and the status report on interventions in Giyani. The Committee views the report-back session on the annual report as non-negotiable, because it goes directly to the concept of accountability.

"The Committee communicated with the department late last year about the programme and the requirement for the entire board to be present during the meeting. We thus find it unacceptable that only one member of the board appeared before the Committee," said Mr Mlungisi Johnson, the Chairperson of the Committee.

The Committee accepts the reasons behind the absence of the Chief Executive Officer, but not those provided by the entire board. The Committee also highlighted the recent negative media reports about Lepelle Northern Water as a further reason for the entire board to be present to give a full account of what is happening at the institution.

"The main thing we are concerned about is the information that people receive services. Hence we need full accountability from the water board if they have succeeded in delivering services to our people," Mr Johnson emphasised.

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