Municipal water losses – money down the drain

Non-metro municipalities have shown a continued regression on water losses, increasing from 49.1% in 2016 to 51.2% in 2017. For the response, click here:

Municipal income from water declined from 44.5% to 38.5% during the same period. This is money down the drain. This is in contrast to the steady progress that has been made in Nelson Mandela Bay.

In the recent response received from the Eastern Cape Department of Finance, Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, it showed that the Chris Hani District Municipality experienced the biggest decline in water income down from R293, 503 million to R128, 390 million in 2017. This is a drop of R165, 112 million, which is crippling for municipalities in that district.

Their water losses also dramatically increased from 14% in 2016 to 37% in 2017.

This is a dramatic loss in revenue, which this municipality cannot afford to lose.

Alfred Nzo experienced a loss in water income from R25, 168 million in 2016 to R14, 745 million in 2017.

Water losses jumped from 77% in 2016 to a shocking 90% in 2017.

Efforts by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to clamp down on leaks are starting to bear fruit, with the city boasting one of the lowest water-loss figures in years.

In February, about 22.3% of water was lost through leaks, down to almost 5% from the previous month and almost 18% lower than in December.

The municipality also recorded its highest water revenue figure in months in February – at 70.9% – which ultimately means more money for the metro.

The news was revealed at a budget and treasury meeting held last Friday, 20 July 2018.

In a water scarce province, drastic action needs to be taken not only to stem physical water losses, but also the income flowing from those losses.

I will be asking the MEC, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane, follow up questions as to what action plans are being put in place to stem this flood of wastage.

Clearly there is a lack of infrastructural maintenance taking place which is resulting in the continued collapsing of the distribution of water in the province.

Where the DA is in government, we are fixing the pipes metre by metre to ensure that this scarce resource is not going to waste.

This is the change that the DA will bring to the rest of the province. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Finance.