Johannesburg’s water revenue collection system is unsustainable‚ Democratic Alliance (DA) caucus leader Vasco da Gama said on Thursday.
Quoting media reports about Soweto residents who sabotage water-saving efforts‚ Da Gama said it was unacceptable for the city to be a mere spectator when residents bypassed water meters or refused to allow access to their properties.
Da Gama said a Constitutional Court ruling allowed for the installation of meters. “More needs to be done to put an end to water being unaccounted for.”
The City of Johannesburg was losing about R700-million annually‚ at purchase price‚ through “non-revenue water”‚ he said. Although this included physical losses of 19.5%‚ it also included commercial losses of 20.4%.
Progress on refurbishment in Soweto was “dreadful”‚ he said. “This refurbishment project has been ongoing since 2004‚ and was supposed to hugely bring down unaccounted-for water‚ but it has failed to do so.”
He pointed out that pipe replacement was lagging‚ as were prepaid meter installations — only 18‚408 out of a target of 34‚889 meters had been installed.
The City’s efforts reflected an attitude that losses were a drop in the ocean. “This kind of attitude towards problem solving will result in no efforts being made towards making a real difference‚” Da Gama said.