Taps remain dry in some parts of Bloemfontein as Mangaung Metro Municipality fails to honour payment arrangement with water entity Bloem Water. The water board is owed more than R270 million by the metro.
Bloem Water has now imposed restrictions on the water supply to residents of Mangaung Metro Municipality.
The embattled Mangaung Metro municipality is at it again after it has failed to honour payment arrangements to water entity Bloem Water. Previously, the metro was taken to court by the water entity over the lack of payment on its bulk water account.
An agreement was reached between the two parties in December 2020 but Mangaung Metro has failed to adhere to the payment plan. Bloem Water was forced to reduce water supply this weekend by 30%. Residents have been left high and dry.
Mangaung Metro municipality fails to honour payment arrangement with Bloem Water:
Some of the residents who were forced to collect water from organised water tankers had this to say:
“Man I can tell you what I don’t worry about them but if they go on like this we are going refuse to pay rates and taxes. I mean that’s fair. I mean how can you expect to pay rates and there’s no service,” says a resident.
“I can say the mayor and the councilors maybe of LourierPark they just have to inform people in time so that each and everyone must be ready for everything that is going to happen,” says another resident.
“No, I’m not comfortable with the situation around here. It’s really affecting us a lot,” another resident added.
Residents of some parts of Bloemfontein have been without running water – since yesterday morning. Bloem Water has imposed water supply restrictions on the Mangaung Metro – due to non-payment.
— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) November 21, 2021
Mangaung Metro Municipality has admitted that it does have a cash flow problem with the collection of revenue from residents. Mangaung Metro Spokesperson Qondile Khedama however says they are currently in talks for the full restoration of water supply to affected areas.
Khedama says the municipality paid R20 million on Friday to Bloem Water.
“We also exploring other avenues because the entity called Bloem Water is carried by the city and as a result, we are unable to service the debt, fully because revenue is a problem. People are not working, the economy is bad now we can’t burden people forever. We are expecting that the new leadership that is coming in will entertain this matter because it’s one of the things that we have tabled as management. Is that how we supply water 100% to residents of Mangaung,” says Khedama.
Bloem Water Executive Operations Manager – Maruping Rapudungoane says the municipality’s last payment was in June this year.
Rapudongoane says the water entity was forced to act in order to avoid the situation getting out of control.
“We then had to then make a decision as management to say we would need to then reduce flow given to the metro. Because we are unable to also pay our debtors. For electricity, chemicals and subsequently is going to affect salaries towards employees. And we want to avoid such things as soon as we can. And hence we took a decision to restrict water by 30%. I need to acknowledge that yes the metro has made a payment of R20 million yesterday. But however that is not enough with regards to what is in areas which R270 million,” says Rapudongoane.
The financial woes of the municipality are far from over. In October this year, the National Treasury halted the establishment of metro police services. Treasury warned that metro police cannot be a priority due to the metros financial status.