The DA arrived at Rand Water’s head office south of Johannesburg on Wednesday for a surprise inspection visit in the hope of getting answers about how the water supplier monitors the telemetry on its reservoirs from its offices and why this data is not made directly available to municipalities. not.
However, the delegation did not advance beyond the front door.
Solly Msimanga, Gauteng leader of the DA, DA MP Nico de Jager and Stephen Moore, DA member of the portfolio committee on water and sanitation, say however they expected nothing less than stiff treatment.
After Sipho Mosai, Rand Water’s CEO, drove past Msimanga and his delegation at the main gate, Teboho Joala, Acting Managing Director of Rand Water, stopped in a black BMW with two bodyguards and indicated that the DA should make an appointment make.
“In all fairness, I must express my disbelief that you are coming here unannounced. I don’t think this kind of approach is going to improve the situation,” said Joala.
However, Msimanga maintained that as sworn public representatives they have every right to make oversight visits to state entities.
Moore pointed out to Joala that it would benefit municipalities to at least see the telemetry on Rand Water’s reservoirs (ie how full they are at any given time) that applies to their part of the network.
“I agree, but you have to make an appointment,” Joala insisted. “I’m rushing to another meeting. Send an email as you did before. Schedule a meeting and get together with us.”
Joala denied before his departure that Rand Water does not communicate with municipalities.
“We talk to municipalities on a daily basis. The telemetry is shared with them.”
However, the DA has maintained that metro councils do not receive this information. And instead of answering questions, the delegation was greeted by VIP guards and blue lights.
The opposition party says it is concerned about the lack of accountability and transparency with which it was greeted this morning.
“We are not surprised that there is still a veil of secrecy between Rand Water and the municipalities,” Msimanga told RNews after the conversation.
“We asked a simple thing: Show us your telemetry. We want to see that the water pressure and quantity of water leaving your system is sufficient to meet people’s needs.
“Because the municipalities say they don’t get enough water. Places like Heidelberg, Lesedi, Emfuleni and Soshanguve are without water. Meanwhile, municipalities have to pay millions of rands to transport water with water tankers.
“How can we expect municipalities to repair the infrastructure if all their money has to go to water tankers? It is now becoming a vicious cycle that must be stopped once and for all.”
Msimanga told RNews that the DA plans to write to Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa in which the opposition party requests that an independent commission, consisting of independent engineers, be set up.
Msimanga says such a commission is needed to monitor the value chain, determine where the loopholes are and how they should be fixed.