Rand Water seeks legal action against municipalities failing to settle debt

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Rand Water has sought to take legal action against some of the municipalities that continue to fail to settle their debt agreement.

The water utility says it is deeply concerned over the continued failure by several municipalities to honour their bulk water purchase agreements.

Rand Water’s Chief Shared Services Officer Teboho Joala says, “The situation is untenable with regard to a number of municipalities which have been owning us for a number of years and in many instances would have signed a number of debt settlement agreements, but those municipalities would be failing to live up to or honour those agreements. Of course, by law and the Constitution, we can’t switch off anyone’s water. So, we have no choice but to seek other remedies through court processes.”

Debt agreement

Currently 7 municipalities have signed a debt agreement with Rand Water. These are Emfuleni Local Municipality, Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, Merafong Local Municipality, Rand West City Local Municipality, Thembisile Hani Local Municipality, Victor Khanye Local Municipality and Ngwathe Local Municipality.

The municipalities collectively owe billions to the water utility which says it has been struggling to recover the debt.

The debt agreement between Rand Water and the 7 municipalities is an attempt to resolve the issue of unpaid water bills and sets out a payment plan for the municipalities to repay their debt, and also provides for penalties if the municipalities fail to meet their obligations.

Gauteng municipalities owe R5,3 billion to Rand Water amid water shortage concerns: