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Poor performance on MDM’s Blue Drop Watch Report

The poor performance by Mopani District Municipality (MDM) in the 2023 Blue Drop Watch Report by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) is a cause for concern.

The Blue Drop Certification (BDC) programme is the regulation tool introduced by the department with the aim of restoring the trust of the general public in the quality of tap water, by certifying the water quality of a municipality. The report tabled during a council sitting on January 31 shows the municipality only scoring 56%, according to the report, the required minimum percentage for BDC is 96%.

The DA councillor in MDM, Lebbeus Ramalepe said that MDM has a total of 17 water treatment works and the worst performing plant is The Oaks Water Treatment Plant in Maruleng Municipality scoring a concerning 38% during the DWS assessment. “The DA has written to the municipal manager, Tshepo Mogano, to request information on the procurement of water purification detergents and budget breakdown of water purification detergents for the year under review,” he added.

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“We further recommend: The urgent appointment of a suitably qualified and competent labour force to manage water treatment plants, that the municipality outlines and develops the blue drop certificate improvement strategy, to provide access to clean drinking water, adequate budget allocation during the mid-term budget adjustment to improve the BDC. “The DA will monitor the worst performing treatment plants and continue to fight for the improvement of the quality of drinking water in Mopani,” said Ramalepe.

Herald contacted MDM spokesperson Odas Ngobeni about the causes of the poor performance and how the municipality plans to improve The Oaks. He said the report released by the Minister in December classifies Mopani’s performance as average, and not poor. “The DA doesn’t know what they are talking about, all that they are raising is what is contained as recommendations by council. We are actually fourth from 11 water service authorities in the province.

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Drakensig in Hoedspruit has contributed significantly to the district score with a score of 23.83% and it’s not managed by the district municipality, but by the Department of Public Works. “We have 57 process controllers with a shortfall of 16, and we told council that we are in the process of recruiting more controllers. “We have also partnered with Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA), we are in the process of training 100 young people in water, they have already started with classes and will soon be sent to our water treatment works to help enhance our capacity,” Ngobeni concluded.

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