Rand Water reduces water supply in three municipalities

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Rand Water says it will reduce water supply to three municipalities that owe money starting on Monday.

The municipalities are Emfuleni in Gauteng as well as Victor Khanye and Govan Mbeki in Mpumalanga.

A spokesperson for Rand Water, Justice Mohale, says the municipalities have failed to meet their debt payment arrangements.

“Emfuleni Local Municipality is in arrears for R994 million, Victor Khanye in Mpumalanga is in arrears for R185 million, whilst Govan Mbeki is in arrears for R314 million. We have formally informed them that today we are going to reduce the flow of water by 20% if they haven’t paid,” says Mohale.

PODCAST: Rand Water to reduce water pressure in three municipalities due to non-payment

Meanwhile, according to a 2011 court ruling in a case between the Body Corporate of Edina Court and the City of Johannesburg, it is illegal for municipalities to cut off people’s supply of water and electricity without following due processes.

The court declared that it was unlawful for a municipality to terminate the supply of the six free kilolitres of water that the City afforded each household.

There’s been a wave of reports of huge increases in electricity and water bills in the City of Johannesburg recently.

In some cases, people have had their services cut off after they refused to pay their bills that were three or four times higher than they normally should be.

“So the first important rule is that it has to give you at least 14 days notice that it’s going to cut you off, and at the moment we are seeing a lot of people cut off without that notice which immediately makes that cut off unlawful. One of the most important things is that the City is not meant to cut you off if you have lodged a query or a dispute in relation to the amount outstanding. The problem is that the City system doesn’t really operate in a manner that efficiently protects people once they have lodged a query or a dispute,” says Chantell Gladwin, an attorney.