Busisiwe Mkhwebane last month released an investigative report indicating the department and municipality’s failure to provide residents with sustainable water supply. She, in her report, highlighted that this municipality has for years failed to ensure that water service equipment is regularly maintained and that old infrastructure is refurbished, leaving communities to suffer.
Mkhwebane said residents in this district have not enjoyed access to clean, adequate water due to the municipality’s conduct and directed the Municipal Manager (MM) of the cash-strapped municipality and MEC for Local Governance to submit an implementation plan indicating when and how her remedial actions will be implemented.
Coupled with a lack of infrastructure maintenance, poor management of water infrastructure and incomplete projects, Mkhwebane highlighted that the department has since 2012 failed to prepare water service development plans.
Her remedial actions include that the municipality completes all incomplete water projects, dig new boreholes and maintain the ones that have been left dilapidated, as well as to ensure that the construction of reservoir projects reach completion amongst others.
She instructed that accounting officers must make sure that those implicated in maladministration and incomplete projects with monies unaccounted for are held accountable.
Mkhwebane further instructed the MM to ensure that reports on the progress made in respect to the implementation of her remedial actions are submitted quarterly and that the MEC monitors the implementation of all remedial actions.
Following Mkhwebane’s report on the water challenges faced in this region, OFM News sent a media inquiry to the department, which committed to responding on its plan of action to redress issues raised in the report, but has to date not acted on its commitment.