ZULULAND Municipality is unhappy about reports that it owes R50 million for water.

It claims to owe far less than that.

Last Monday, Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane announced that the department is owed about R10,7 billion by 30 municipalities.

She threatened to cut the water supply to those municipalities responsible if they didn’t make arrangements to pay before Friday.

Yesterday, the district’s manager, Sipho Nkosi, told Daily Sun they were going to meet officials fromthe water department to seek clarity.

“We need to understand how we got to this amount because as far as we know, we owe less. The clarification will determine if there’s a need to launch an internal investigation to find out what really happened.

“The outcome of the investigation will reveal if there’s a need for disciplinary action or not.”

Nkosi said the district had experienced severe drought, leaving many rivers dry.

“We had to ensure residents were being served with clean water despite the drought. That’s why we owe the department.”

He refused to reveal the amount he thought the municipality owed or whether they’d be able to settle the bill.

However the district’s mayor, Thulasizwe Buthelezi, told the media they would make a point of settling the bill.

“Water is essential. Our residents cannot survive without it so we have to make sure it’s not cut,” said Buthelezi.

Department of water spokesman Sputnik Ratau said it was good that the district has planned to engage with them.

“The deadline for payment arrangements is 8 December, but it will depend on our discussion whether we extend it or not.

“Anything is possible. That’s why we’ve agreed to meet them and clarify the matter if they are unhappy,” said Ratau.

Source: Dailysun