Two municipalities in Mpumalanga that breached their contracts to pay bills owing to Rand Water will have their water cut down to a trickle.
This will be the second time in six months that residents of the Govan Mbeki municipality, which serves towns like Secunda, Bethal, Embalenhle and Trichardt, will have to cope with less water as Rand Water plans to cut its supply by about 80%.
This means that residents in high-lying areas like Secunda, Embalenhle and Bethal will bear the brunt as they will be the first to run out of water.
In December, these towns had no water for a few weeks after Rand Water closed the taps to force the municipality to pay its outstanding debt, which currently stands at R180m.
In January, the council reached an agreement with the bulk water supplier, but it failed to pay the agreed amount of R40-million last month, only paying R12-million.
The residents of the Victor Khanye municipality in Delmas are in a similar position. The municipality, which owes Rand Water R100-million, had agreed to pay back R87-million but it failed to do so.
Rand Water plans to cut the municipality's water supply to only 20%.
In a letter to the municipalities, which News24 has seen, Rand Water indicated that it was disappointed about their lack of cooperation.
The company’s spokesperson, Justice Mohale, was approached for comment but he could not respond immediately.
Neither Benzi Soko from the Govan Mbeki municipality nor Sentebalent Masimola from the Victor Khanye municipality responded to a request for comment.
The DA’s Bosman Grobler said the first thing that newly appointed Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Mandla Msibi should tackle was to stabilise the delivery of basic services in the municipalities, particularly those who were unable to manage the debt they owed to Rand Water and Eskom.