Poor maintenance by the ANC in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) resulted in the Metro wasting more than 13 billion litres of water over the last year owing to leakages that were not repaired.
This information was gleaned from the response by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, to a parliamentary question posed by the FF Plus (please see below).
"Effectively the Metro wastes more than 36 million litres of water per day. Based on the Metro's own tariffs, the value of the water that has gone to waste amounts to more than R233 million," says Tammy Wessels, FF Plus MPL in the Free State.
She added that while the central region of our country is struggling to recover from the droughts of the last few years, important water resources have been lost due to poor upkeep. The Metro frequently experienced water shortages in 2018 as a result of failing water infrastructure and regular non-payment of the water supplier, Bloemwater.
"Mangaung Metro Municipality is the biggest water waster while paying residents have to keep digging deep into their pockets to pay the additional levies implemented with the aim to save water.
"If the Metro keeps wasting water by not repairing leakages, its plans to expand water resources are doomed to fail. As the Metro will simply have more water to waste," Wessels says.
She says the FF Plus also takes note of Nkwinti’s statement that a downward adjustment in drought levies (from 20% to 15%) was justified after there was an improvement in the water level of dams in May 2018.
"The FF Plus plans to table a motion to the Council and request the Metro to adjust the drought levies so as to offer heavily burdened residents some relief.
"The FF Plus will also ask for an audit to be done on the Metro's waterpipe system as soon as possible so that the maintenance work that is urgently needed can be identified, planned and budgeted for.
"The time has come for the ANC to be held accountable for its failures in the Free State. This year, voters have the opportunity to fight back and to close the taps of the ANC tightly by voting for a better South Africa with a multiparty government – and the FF Plus has already shown itself capable of making a contribution and achieving success as part of such a multiparty government.
"The FF Plus would like to bring about the same kind of success in Mangaung and the rest of the Free State," Wessels says.