BA­SIC SER­VICES Joburg Wa­ter faces chal­lenges

Work­ing to­wards restor­ing the en­tity on a path of fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity

Saturday Star - - METRO - KGOPI MABOTJA [email protected]

JOBURG Wa­ter is op­ti­mistic that it will keep a consistent sup­ply of qual­ity wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion ser­vices de­spite a gloomy fi­nan­cial outlook fac­ing the en­tity.

The lat­est per­for­mance re­port for Quar­ter 1 (July to Septem­ber 2018) tabled at the last coun­cil meet­ing for the year re­vealed the en­tity’s net cash po­si­tion per­for­mance was R73 mil­lion in over­draft against a bud­get of R332 mil­lion.

This was in a stark con­trast from a R12 mil­lion sur­plus in the same pe­riod for the pre­vi­ous year.

The en­tity is also dogged by revenue col­lec­tion chal­lenges. The recorded revenue for the pe­riod un­der re­view is be­low 6.8%. This trans­lates into a 10% short­fall of sales revenue for the pe­riod un­der re­view. The en­tity has re­quested the City’s revenue depart­ment to probe the short­fall.

The col­lec­tion rate had plum­meted from 81.1% in quar­ter four to 72.5%, which led to a neg­a­tive cash po­si­tion, the en­tity noted in its re­port.

In a bid to im­prove the ac­cu­racy of meter read­ings, Joburg Wa­ter has started a re­cruit­ment process for per­son­nel that would be de­ployed to read me­ters on site. The en­tity con­fessed that it does not cur­rently have a struc­ture or ca­pac­ity to man­age the num­ber of queries re­lated to billing and meter read­ing.

Joburg Wa­ter man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Nt­shavheni Muk­w­evho noted in his re­port that the en­tity would fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture as most of it was grad­u­ally reach­ing the end of its life span.

“The en­tity re­mains with a back­log of chal­lenges in re­spect of wa­ter and sewer pipes re­place­ment.”

He said it re­placed 4.8km and 14.2km of wa­ter and sewer pipe­lines.

“The neg­a­tive vari­ance on the wa­ter pro­gramme re­sulted from delays in the award­ing of the panel of wa­ter con­trac­tors ten­der.

“The com­pany is work­ing hard un­der the cur­rent chal­lenges and bud­getary con­straints to en­sure that ser­vice de­liv­ery is not com­pro­mised. I re­main very op­ti­mistic that most in­ter­ven­tions that are in place will as­sist in ad­dress­ing bot­tle­necks,” said Muk­w­evho.

The chair­per­son of the board, Getty Sime­lane, echoed Muk­w­evho’s sen­ti­ments in her re­port that in­fra­struc­ture roll­out would re­main cen­tral to the en­tity’s ob­jec­tives. “A quar­terly tar­get of 10.02% cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture was achieved as progress to­wards the an­nual mile­stone of 95%.

“This is a good start to the year con­sid­er­ing that most projects get off the ground dur­ing the mid-year.”

Nico de Jager, MMC for En­vi­ron­ment and In­fra­struc­ture Ser­vices, said the City was work­ing with all stake­hold­ers to re­store Joburg Wa­ter “on the path of fi­nan­cial vi­a­bil­ity”.

KAREN SANDISON African News Agency (ANA)

A WA­TER tower fondly known by lo­cals in the area as ‘The Sil­ver Ball’ or ‘Onion’ on South Rans Road, Kil­priv­iers­berg Es­tate, which bor­ders Lin­meyer and South Hills, south of Jo­han­nes­burg. | Global sta­tus re­port on road safety 2018To­day 3700 peo­ple will die on the world’s roads. The same will hap­pen to­mor­row, and in all the days that fol­low.

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