Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has confirmed that the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has resolved a matter that involved delayed payment of service providers and, specifically, the department has paid R80-million to Sedibeng Water for continuation of projects in the Sedibeng district municipality.
In turn, Sedibeng Water has made a commitment to pay all its service providers by October 28, while most projects in this area of the Gauteng province will resume on October 30 and the rest on November 2.
Sisulu has acknowledged concerns around serious challenges of water supply and other projects being on hold owing to the nonpayment of service providers.
She explains that the payment of service providers took time as a result of issues ranging from verification of works and other related portfolio of evidence required to process some payments.
Such verification is crucial in ensuring that the DWS does not fall foul of the Public Finance Management Act requirements.
Meanwhile, the department is at different stages of completion for key projects to augment water supply in the area of QwaQwa, in the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality, in the Free State.
The DWS had allocated R10-million to Maluti-a-Phofung under the Water Services Infrastructure Grant to continue with tankering of water for three months while the department works on completing projects that will assist in ensuring water supply from taps.
The DWS has further looked into long-term solutions whereby the Sterkfontein Water Treatment Works, in the Free State, can be upgraded to ensure sustainability of water supply.
The department has, to this end, appointed a contractor, which is already working on site.