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Picture: 123RF/Weerapat Kiatdumrong
Picture: 123RF/Weerapat Kiatdumrong

The high court in Pretoria granted the City of Tshwane permission to attach the account of Madibeng local municipality on Tuesday, in an effort to force it to settle its multimillion-rand water debt.

According to Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba, the North West municipality owes R258m for unpaid bulk water. Madibeng municipality in Brits covers areas that include Hartbeespoort. 

“In August 2021, the two municipalities entered into a payment arrangement in terms of which the former would settle their account in instalments over a specific payment period, but they failed to honour their commitment,” Bokaba said.

He said at the time the agreement was entered into, Madibeng’s debt stood at about R243m and Tshwane was forced to restrict the municipality’s water usage by 50%.

Bokaba said Tshwane buys bulk water from Rand Water and provides it to Madibeng and other municipalities, and they are expected to pay their accounts at the end of each month.

Bokaba said the city’s court application was a last-ditch effort aimed at enforcing the settlement of Madibeng’s debt by attaching its bank account.

The City of Tshwane said the attachment of the bank account would enable it to recoup the funds owed, and assist the city in paying its creditors, such as Rand Water.