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More “Water restrictions” for the five defaulting municipalities

Five municipalities are set to face water restrictions until they make payment arrangements with the Department of Water and Sanitation, and water boards.

The department on Friday said the affected municipalities are Ngaka Modiri Molema (in the North West), Msukaligwa (Mpumalanga), Madibeng (North West), Mafube (Free State) and Maluti-a-Phofung (Free State).

“The water restrictions will be implemented starting with a minimum of 20% reductions to the defaulting municipalities until payment arrangements are made with the department and the Water Boards,” the department said, warning that the restrictions could increase incrementally.

The department is in the process of recovering a R10.7 billion debt for bulk water services owed by municipalities to the department and water boards.

On Friday, it said 25 of the 30 most indebted municipalities have heeded its call to work with the department and propose acceptable repayment plans.

To date, a total of R213 million has been paid by municipalities to the water boards and R55.5 million to the Water Trading Entity of the Department of Water and Sanitation. Commitments received since the initial pronouncements and over and above monies already received amount to R300 million, the department said.

The department urged all municipalities that have outstanding debt to make payments as soon as possible to avoid debt escalation.

“This is with the understanding that more municipalities have outstanding debt outside the 30 municipalities which were issued with notices late last month.

“We would like to reiterate that the payment of water services will go a long way in addressing the water challenges facing the country,” said the department.

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