Following an engagement on Friday morning between Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), Business Leadership SA (BLSA) and their members with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) led by Minister Mkhize, business and COGTA have agreed to cooperate in setting up a structured process aimed at resolving some of the key challenges facing many of South Africa’s dysfunctional municipalities, particularly in the areas of water and sanitation and electricity supply.
According to CoGTA, approximately two thirds of municipalities in South Africa are rated as ranging between barely functional and completely dysfunctional. Disruptions in the supply of water and sanitation and electricity services is a common struggle for residents and businesses of all sizes in these municipalities, said BUSA.
“While BUSA recognises the challenges faced by Eskom as a result of non-payment by municipalities, power interruptions are not considered the most suitable option as it puts businesses and jobs at risk, as well as communities that depend on municipal services,” stated BUSA CEO, Tanya Cohen.
BUSA is thus working with Eskom to explore mechanisms that will provide a solution to the electricity supply challenge facing municipalities without the negative impact on businesses. BUSA will also engage with NERSA on proposed short term interventions while the longer term, more sustainable plans are put in place.
In the area of water supply and sanitation, BUSA and COGTA, together with the Department of Water and Sanitation, will explore the development of new models for water related Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) as well as the replication and scaling of existing interventions such as those employed under the NBI’s Western Cape drought crisis team.