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The Emfuleni municipality in Gauteng whines that it is short of “staff and resources”, which is why it has spent R65 million in overtime for water entity workers … yet is still losing more than half of its water at a cost of R500 million a year.
According to the municipality, the water entity could not attend to all reports during working hours and had to pay workers for overtime.
Would we be too cynical to wonder if the workforce found itself “overwhelmed” during daylight hours, but could somehow get through the night at “time-and-ahalf”?
Or would it be unfair to them if we were to wonder whether the repairs they did were deliberately “under-done”, so they could get called out again and earn more overtime?
If you think that is unfair, look at Eskom, where precisely the same sort of thing is happening in a process we would call “overtime farming”.
It may also be true that the Emfuleni water entity is worked off its feet because there is not enough money to pay for staff or resources.
ALSO READ: Emfuleni blame R65 million overtime bill on shortage of staff and resources
The council, though, is still raking in money from the ratepayers and it is not paying its bulk water supply bills either (it owes Rand Water R1.5 billion) … so we wonder: where has all the money gone?
What is happening at Emfuleni is, sadly, not the exception.
In the majority of ANC-run cities and towns across the country, the collapse of services is inexorable.
Looting of funds and the deployment of incompetent ANC cadres to critical positions in water supply and sewage has meant that maintenance – and the replacement of old and crumbling pipes and other infrastructure – has all but stopped.
What is really worrying is that huge amounts of water are going to waste in a water-scarce country, while residents don’t even have reliable water supplies.