MARBLE HALL – The DA in Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality (EMLM) has expresses concerns over alleged water theft in the local municipality from a fire hydrant in Marble Hall extension 6 which Sekhukhune District Municipality opened allegedly to supply water to neighbouring villages.
The DA said it had visited the hydrant in question and it had been confirmed that eight to nine water trucks came to fill up water there daily.
Flip Jacobs, DA EMLM councillor, said It was estimated that approximately 80 000 – 150 000 litres of water was being removed illegally from that specific hydrant every single day, despite not knowing where that water was heading to and without any supervision by the Municipality.
Jacobs said there was also no meter to monitor the usage and that allowed people to exploit the municipality and abuse water, without paying for it.
“Furthermore, it has been alleged that a lot of this water is being transported to Jane Furse, which doesn’t form part of the Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality. The water consumption will be allocated to the Ephraim Mogale Local Municipality and will cause an additional burden on rates and taxpayers in the area,” said Jacobs.
He added that the DA alerted Sekhukhune District Municipality (SDM) to unmarked trucks loading water from the hydrant in November 2019 but there had not been any attempt by the district municipality to address their concerns or correct the problem.
“We also asked various questions in relation to water being transported to another municipality with no cost to them. These questions remained unanswered,” further said Jacobs.
The DA called on the Municipality to intervene immediately and vowed it would continue to put pressure on the district municipality to prevent further water theft. The party demanded that those who allowed that to happen to be held accountable.
“We cannot and will not allow lawlessness to reign in this municipality and we will continue to put the needs of our residents first,” said Jacobs.
Willy Mosoma, SDM Spokespeson, said there was no theft at the point and that the trucks that collected water there were authorized to supply to mainly Jane Furse Hospital as the source of water in Makhuduthamaga had dried out. “We need to assure the households that they won’t be billed from the water collected from the hydrant as it has a separate meter from theirs. Also we need to apologise to the DA because the matter was not well communicated ted to them when it started,” said Mosoma