23 August 2017

South Africa: Water Users Failing to Honour Debts Could Be Blacklisted

The Department of Water and Sanitation is considering blacklisting individuals, companies and organisations that continue not to honour their debts due to the department.

This was a proposal tabled before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation on Wednesday, when the department presented its Quarter One Report for the 2017/18 financial year.

The department reported that by the end of June 2017, it only managed to collect R115 million out of more than R7 billion owed by municipalities and water boards.

"The department views the failure of water users to pay for the services in a serious light, as this failure has adverse implications for the department in the execution of its mandate," the department said.

In the report, the department revealed that it has 15% of its original R15 billion budget.

The department's Acting Director General, Sifiso Mkhize, said the department is on the right track in as far as achieving its set targets for the year.

He said in the first quarter, the department used over R800 million to pay for its 2016/17 accruals, which amounted to R1.5 billion.

"These were mainly due to the late submission of invoices, amongst other things. This has resulted in the department reprioritising its Accelerated Community Infrastructure Programme and Water Services Infrastructure Grant projects to cater for the accruals."

As of 30 June 2017, the department had spent over R1 billion for its infrastructure projects, out of the R11 billion that is allocated.

With regards to the Bucket Eradication Programme, the department has overspent by R45 616 000. The budget allocated was R145 000 000 and the department spent R190 616 000.

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