AfriForum’s legal team sent letters of demand to Rand Water, as well as the Emfuleni, Govan Mbeki and Victor Khanye local municipalities about reduction of water supply after these municipalities had failed to pay their water accounts.
Rand Water sent notices to these municipalities on 26 September 2019 after no payment had been received. AfriForum’s legal team requests that the civil rights organisation be part of the talks, as residents who pay their accounts are now unfairly disadvantaged. Up to now, the three municipalities together owe about R670 million.
“Access to water is a constitutional right. Communities may not be held hostage as a result of the mismanagement of state entities. Communities should also be informed of decisions made at municipal level, as it is extremely important to know what agreements municipalities enter into,” says Morné Mostert, AfriForum’s Manager for Local Government Affairs.
AfriForum also requests a copy of any agreement entered into by the parties to ensure that the parties act accordingly. Because it is deemed important, AfriForum allows the parties five days to reply to the letter.
“It is unacceptable for three municipalities to owe such an amount to Rand Water. The question begs: How did they end up with so much debt? The state should start a debt collection process to get the money back. It is unfair that resident in these municipalities – who pay their bills regularly – are now disadvantaged as a result of the inability of the municipalities’ administration to perform their duty,” says Lambert de Klerk, AfriForum’s Manager for Environmental Affairs.