Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS
Faith Muthambi. Picture: GCIS

Billions lost in illegal water, electricity connections in Gauteng

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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Pretoria - Billions of rand are going down the drain every year in Tshwane as a result of high water and electricity losses.

This emerged during an interaction between the portfolio committee on co-operative governance and traditional affairs and the departments of local government and finance in Gauteng on Monday.

The committee is in the province to assess the performances of municipalities and the state of service delivery to residents.

Committee chairperson Faith Muthambi expressed concerns that water and electricity losses also affected metros like Joburg and Ekurhuleni. According to the committee, the losses put pressure on the cash flow balances and contributed to poor service delivery.

“It is unsustainable to have water losses of R1 386 000000 in Johannesburg, R1 051 432369 in Tshwane and R1 002 005635 in Ekurhuleni. The committee has urged municipalities to deal with customers who access water services illegally, address inaccurate billing to increase payment and fix ageing infrastructure,” the committee said.

Other areas of concern included high vacancy rates for senior managerial positions, dysfunctional municipal public accounts committees, investigations and consequence management into unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Muthambi said: “The general picture of functionality of municipalities is concerning and impacts directly on the ability of municipalities in providing quality services, as advocated in Section 152 of the Constitution. This concerning picture requires collaborative effort in ensuring that we make municipalities viable vehicles to deliver services to the people.”

Tshwane was singled out among the municipalities that had not concluded and approved its public accounts committee’s annual plans.

“The committee is concerned that of the 11 municipalities, five municipalities accounts committees have not approved the 2019/20 annual plan.

“This undermines their critical oversight role and is reflected in the backlog in investigating unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The committee has called on the councils of Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, West Rand and Midvaal to conclude and approve their annual plans,” the committee said.

Pretoria News

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