Parliament has commended the Department of Water and Sanitation for its financial recovery plan, which includes a reduction in accruals and payables from R1 667 8871 in March 2019 to R808 460 on 31 October 2019.
Chairperson of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Machwene Semenya, said the plan gives the committee the assurance that the current leadership will be able to overcome the department’s long-standing challenges. Payment for services received ensured that service providers remained viable and that projects were completed.
“The committee welcomes the department’s consequence management initiatives to deal with the R16 642 937 319 in irregular expenditure… consequence management is a necessity to deter wrong-doing,” Semenya said.
In respect to debt owed to the department and its entities, the committee emphasised the need for constructive discussions coupled with strong implementation in areas of agreement to deal effectively with the debt and to assist water agencies to improve their balance sheet.
Meanwhile, the committee said it has noted the intention to exit the War on Leaks Programme, which has been an albatross to the department due to planning inefficiencies.
The programme was launched in 2015 in a bid to curb water losses which cost the country R7 billion a year.
Semenya said the department should improve its planning capacity, as the programme was meant to decrease non-revenue water. At 41%, this amounted to an estimated R9.9 billion in lost value.
The committee has welcomed the 86 guilty verdicts – including 13 dismissals, one demotion and various suspensions enforced against errant officials. – SAnews.gov.za