Skip to Content

Illegal miners in Welkom; Rands

South Africa: Paying municipal residents face severe water shortages

White paying residents in small towns in the Free State, in South Africa, are facing severe water shortages after the Department of Water and Sanitation’s threatened to cut off the water supply for non-payment by municipalities.

Published: December 6, 2017, 6:42 am

    All the municipalities in the province are run by the governing ANC party and they may only employ black staff due to Affirmative Action laws. The mismanagement of funds at a local governing level is rife and has been reported widely in the South African media.

    “The Department of Water and Sanitation’s threat to cut off the water supply to the Free State municipalities that owe nearly R3 billion to water boards, is a slap in the face of paying residents,” says Jan van Niekerk, FF Plus provincial leader in the Free State.

    The Department is threatening to cut off the water supply to seven Free State municipalities if they do not pay their outstanding water accounts by the 8th of December.

    Opposition parties have asked the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, to reconsider cutting off the water supply to the municipalities that have fallen behind with their payments.

    “Tax payers in the Free State are already heavily burdened with constant water shortages and increased water tariffs that were implemented as protective measures in drought-stricken municipal regions.

    “Not only is access to water a Constitutional right, but it would also be unfair to allow paying residents to be adversely affected due to the mismanagement of municipalities, water boards and water suppliers.

    “It is the Department and municipalities’ duty to ensure that water accounts are paid.

    “Paying residents should not have to suffer due to situations like the one in Mangaung, where there are disputes between the municipality and Bloem Water. It is not the residents’ problem to solve. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that debt does not escalate to a point where threats that the water supply will be cut off are made,” says Van Niekerk.

    With a debt of just over R3.5-billion owed to power utility Eskom and the Sedibeng Water Board for basic services, Matjhabeng municipality in the Free State is, on paper, currently the worst-run municipality in South Africa.

    The water waste is horrendous. The black township of Thabong‚ which forms part of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality‚ has gained a reputation for being one of the worst-run municipalities in the country, Timeslive reported.

    In Thabong‚ outside the mining town of Welkom, water leaks even in affluent suburbs number around 400 on any given day. Raw sewage runs down several roads.

    Crime too has increased because every single street lamp along its main road has been cut down and sold for scrap‚ leaving residents in darkness.

    Since its inception in 2000‚ Matjhabeng has received qualified audit opinions consistently‚ confirming suspicions of corruption running rampant, according to Timeslive.

    On Friday ANC municipal officials were informed of their second unqualified audit noted by the South African Auditor General in two years.

    Minister of Water Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane last week had included Matjhabeng in a list of municipalities that have defaulted on their water bill.

    The municipality faces challenges in terms of revenue collection despite a flourishing wealthy illegal mining sector. On average‚ revenue collection only just tops 35 percent with non-white wards collecting only 2 percent of actual billing. Residents owe the municipality around R2-billion.

    One municipal official‚ who spoke on condition of anonymity‚ said there was evidence of the involvement of local police in illegal mining activity. “We believe gold is smuggled out through the private airport‚ to Dubai and other places‚” the official said.

    Municipal spokesman Kgojane Matutle‚ blamed illegal mining for the water problems. He said that in several areas water pipes were tapped into to wash illegally mined gold. “It is a daily occurrence. We send someone to fix a pipe today‚ and tomorrow they break the pipe again‚” Matutle said.

    But copper cable theft, not related to mining, is also costing the municipality some R2-million every month.

    The debt crisis is not limited to only one mining municipality however. Free State municipalities’ outstanding debt to water boards presently amounts to:

    Mangaung : R349,227,064.00
    (Bloemfontein, Botshabelo, Dewetsdorp, Mangaung, Thaba Nchu, Van Stadensrus, Wepener)

    Kopanong : R196,689,402.00
    (Bethulie, Edenburg, Fauresmith, Gariep Dam, Jagersfontein, Philippolis, Reddersburg, Springfontein, Trompsburg, Waterkloof)

    Ngwathe : R83,322,099.00
    (Edenville, Heilbron, Koppies, Parys, Vredefort)

    Mafube : R159,850,470.00
    (Cornelia, Frankfort, Tweeling, Villiers)

    Maluti-a-Phofung : R233,925,937.00
    (Harrismith, Kestell, Phuthaditjhaba)

    Mathjabeng : R1,849,226,784.00
    (Allanridge, Hennenman, Odendaalsrus, Ventersburg, Virginia, Welkom)

    Nala : R126,954,981.00
    (Bothaville, Wesselsbron)

    TOTAL : R2,999,196,737.00

    Schalk van der Merwe‚ provincial chairman of the Small Business Institute‚ questioned the management of Matjhabeng’s debt book.

    “For these guys to actually balance their books they must show that they have a huge amount of debt outstanding from the people that are supposed to buy from them. And we asked them for a list of businesses in the area who have outstanding debt‚ and we found some factories who have bills of R200-million. That is impossible‚ you can’t even use that amount of energy‚ never mind be in arrears to that amount‚” he said.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    • South Africa, run by low-IQ blacks, descends ever further into the depths of the third world. I wouldn’t care what happens, if it weren’t for the Whites there. We need to get our Whites out, and repatriate our own blacks to Africa (and browns to their respective countries) or the third world will be our future too.

      • ablg234

        Sign on “Grant White South Africans European Citizenship”.


    Mugabe steps down from leading a country to complete ruin

    Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has stepped down. The African liberation "hero" and one of the world's most notorious dictators, resigned as president on Tuesday, a week after the army and his former political allies moved against him.

    Robert Mugabe’s fate uncertain after bloodless coup hits Zimbabwe

    The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, has been deposed of by soldiers who surrounded his official and private residences, as well as other government buildings in what amounts to a bloodless coup.

    South Africa: Black firebrand Malema threatens whites with more violence

    Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, an anti-white Marxist party in South Africa, launched an attack on #BlackMonday protesters, Afrikaners, as well as the police who, he says, missed an opportunity to shoot at white people.

    Afrikaners come together on #BlackMonday to protest ongoing farm murders

    While white South Africans united in a previously unheard-of protest action against the senseless violence whereby the country’s white farmers are targeted and slaughtered, the latest news is that Mr Sarel Erxleben from Deneysville, in the Free State province, was shot and killed in his house by black attackers.

    Sudden wave of farm attacks in Western Cape province of SA alarming

    The white rural population in South Africa has been plagued by farm attacks and farm murders in a bid to remove them from the land. The latest release of the country's national crime statistics paint a macabre picture.

    South Africa: ‘Affirmative action just an excuse for theft’

    Why is South African Airways paying up to three times more for aeroplanes and fuel? FreeWest spoke to someone within the airline.

    White farmer in critical condition after attack

    A white farmer in the Koue Bokkeveld, near the town of Ceres, is in a critical condition in hospital after he was repeatedly stabbed by two black suspects on Monday evening, Western Cape police said on Tuesday.

    Paramedics attacked in Johannesburg while helping patient

    Two paramedics were attacked and held up at gunpoint in Alexandra, a black neighbourhood north of Johannesburg, on Tuesday morning, the City of Johannesburg EMS said. It is an ongoing scourge in South Africa.

    Plundering of South African Defence Force assets continues unabated

    The plundering of the assets of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), including weapons and ammunition with almost no successful prosecution, is shocking and is indicative of a collapse of the management structure of the SANDF, says Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus.

    Dutch tourists held hostage by South African criminals

    An armed robbery on 36 Dutch tourists in South Africa has sent shock waves through the two countries.

    Go to archive