Johannesburg – Thousands of residents in parts of Emfuleni Local Municipality have no access to water despite the municipality paying more than R65 million to contractors.
This was the view of the DA after Gauteng MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Mzi Khumalo confirmed payments to the contractors in his written reply to questions in the provincial legislature.
DA’s constituency head in Emfuleni Kingsol Chabalala said the residents were being deprived of access to an uninterrupted water supply despite these contractors being paid R65 251 020 for water tankers.
Chabalala said many residents said they went weeks without getting water from the tankers.
“This is unacceptable as access to water is a basic right and the contractors are paid to render this service. The affected residents are now forced to either buy water or commute to neighbouring areas to fetch it.
“In the past three financial years, the following companies were hired and paid millions to distribute water with tankers to Emfuleni residents: Downtown Spares, Plexiphon 213, and Alsandro Construction.
Below are the amounts paid to the contractors in the past three years:
In 2019/2020, the Department of Water and Sanitation implemented the project in Emfuleni.
– 2020/21: R12 514 656
– 2021/22: R24 862 798
– 2022/23: R27 873 566
Khumalo revealed that all contractors were awarded a three-year contract.
Reacting, Chabalala said Emfuleni must learn from the previous DA-led multi-party coalition in Mogale City, which procured 12 water tankers instead of outsourcing.
“Over R65m is too much to be spent on outsourcing water tankers. The DA proposes that Emfuleni prioritises investing in fixing existing water infrastructure to ensure residents have access to an uninterrupted water supply,” he said.
Chabalala said his party would be also table follow-up questions to Khumalo to ascertain how many people have benefited from these water tankers and if the municipality had plans to procure its own tankers.