R243m owed to uThukela by Amajuba District, Newcastle and uMzinyathi

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Addressing uThukela Water’s outstanding debt and poor management with the Water Board in a meeting on Thursday, 9 September. KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC Hlomuka called for greater transparency and dialogue between the uThukela Water Board and its shareholders.

Supplying the uMzinyathi, Amajuba District Municipalities, and the Newcastle Local Municipality. The uThukela Water Board presented its dire financial state.

According to uThukela Water’s presentation, the entity is owed a jaw-dropping R243 million by the municipalities. Further revealing that the company has a R700 million backlog for infrastructure.

In his address to the management of the entity and shareholder representatives, MEC Hlomuka expressed his concern about the deteriorating financial situation of uThukela Water. 

He found serious governance breaches and failures from the section 106 forensic investigation, which was handed over to the shareholders in order to implement its recommendations. 

“We are concerned with allegations of nepotism and the failure to follow all proper processes as outlined in the Municipal Finance Management Act. These governance failures are compromising the entity, and we want you as shareholders and management to deal with these allegations that were set out in the forensic report,” stated Hlomuka.

The entity also faced allegations of racism, which were investigated by the department and sustained. However, according to CoGTA, the entity has failed to act against the perpetrators. 

The MEC has now directed the shareholders of uThukela Water to strengthen their oversight, implement measures that will hold its management to account, and those that have since resigned but had committed criminal acts. 

Hlomuka stressed that should the shareholders fail to exercise proper oversight, the entity’s viability could come into question. 

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