Tumelo Waga Dibakwane
Bushbuckridge Local Municipality (BLM) has dismissed allegations by Rand Water that it failed to pay monies owed to the water supplier despite several meetings between these two entities.
Communication manager at BLM, Aubrey Mnisi said the municipality has honoured their commitment to pay the 50% discount that Rand Water offered them in September 2017 and the municipality had settled the historical debt in February 2018.
“The municipality owed Rand Water R172 155 0000 and the 50% discount of R86 077 987.50 was paid in full in February 2018. The allegation by Rand Water that the municipality is not honouring its debts commitment is not only incorrect, but it has to a larger degree misled the people of Bushbuckridge” said Mnisi
He further said that the municipality views the allegation by Rand Water as a smear campaign to drag the municipal image through the mud. However as the municipality is aware of the short-payment, they are paying the current monthly billing.
“Rand Water is billing the municipality R 23 094 995. 99 on a monthly basis, however the municipality can only pay R17 334 000 pending the fulfillment of two issues by Rand Water Firstly, Rand Water has to install water meters in all reservoirs for accurate billing. Secondly, it has to fix all leakages on the bulk water lines” said Mnisi.
The municipality believes this will help in ensuring that the billing statements from Rand Water are accurate and free from discrepancies. The disputes and disagreements on the authenticity and accuracy of the billing statements remain the only challenge, however in the best interest of the community the municipality is currently paying over R17 334 000 per month to Rand Water. The municipality is committed to honouring and servicing its monthly billing to ensure that the people of Bushbuckridge get water on a continuous basis.
Media Relations Manager manager at Rand Water Justice Mohale said the Rand Water has reduced its supply of bulk potable water to the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality. This is due to credit control action to compel the Municipality to meet its obligations to settle amounts owed to Rand Water for water services rendered.
“The full arrears balance due by the Municipality to Rand Water is R 199 197 052. 56. It is important to note that the Municipality had repeatedly failed to honour agreements made in a series of meetings held to settle outstanding amounts due to Rand Water” said Mohlala