Emfuleni Local Municipality is losing about 56% of its water due to water leakages, illegal water network connections, faulty metering, incorrect meter readings and old and dilapidated water infrastructure, yet the municipality continues to spend on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees.
The residents of Emfuleni are bearing the cost of an increase in rates for water and low water pressure due to the municipality’s failure to attend to reported water leaks timeously and to pay its debt owed to Rand Water while employees are paid exorbitant overtime.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Lebogang Maile in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Maile, Emfuleni has spent R65 832 014.47 on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees in the last four financial years.
The breakdown of the money spent on overtime for Metsi a Lekao employees is as follows:
2021/2022 financial year – R10 601 586.76
2020/2021 financial year- R17 637 412.99
2019/2020 financial year- R19 633 849.46
2018/2019 financial year-R17 959 165.26
Total R65 832 014.47
This is unacceptable as Emfuleni residents are complaining about the municipality’s failure to attend to reported water leaks, blast water pipes and sewer blockages. This has resulted in sewer spillages across many streets in Emfuleni which is a health hazard.
This money that is wasted on Metsi a Lekao employees could be used to replace and fix the municipality’s ageing water pipes to ensure that they reduce water losses.
The DA will be engaging our councillors in Emfuleni to table the issue of water losses and cutting down on money being spent on employees’ overtime for discussion in council. This will assist in adopting measures to curb the waste of taxpayers’ money and ensure that the little money that Emfuleni has is spent wisely for the benefit of its residents. We will continue to put pressure on the Emfuleni Mayor to prioritise fixing and maintaining water infrastructure and educating residents about saving water.
Water is a precious scarce natural resource that must be preserved and to ensure that all residents have access to uninterrupted water supply Emfuleni must adopt effective water control measures and fix the ageing water infrastructure.