Municipalities owe water boards and other water entities in South Africa an estimated R14.9 billion.
This debt has meant that water boards and the department is struggling to rehabilitate and refurbish the dam infrastructure, deal with pollution and refurbish water services infrastructure.
Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu wants to divert 3-5% municipal grants to municipalities in arrears to reduce the municipality debt and the South African Local Government Association (Salga) says no.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa the organisation's national chairperson for water and sanitation Thami Ngubane says if Sisulu's approach is implemented other challenges will be created.
There needs to be a holistic value chain approach. The government, businesses and households need to pay municipalities so that municipalities can be in a position to pay for bulk services. In our view that approach will give us lasting solutions than looking at municipal debt in isolation.— Thami Ngubane, National chairperson for water and sanitation - Salga
There need to be radical ways in implementing credit control measures, he adds.
Prepaid water metres need to be installed so that municipalities can track consumption.— Thami Ngubane, National chairperson for water and sanitation - Salga
Listen below to the full conversation: