The Minister of Water Resources, Management and Development, Samuel
Sipepa Nkomo and the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban
Development, Ignatius Chombo, had requested all councils to adopt the
The citys financial director, Kimpton Ndimande, has come out in
support of the ministerial recommendation – saying if it had been
implemented earlier, the collapse of the water and sewer system might
have been averted.
On the other hand, councillors have called for an impact assessment
report on other council activities, which were being subsidised from
revenue collected from the two services.
The councillors are concerned that if the water account, expected to generate 63,36 percent of total council revenue this year, gets ring-fenced service delivery would collapse.
The latest council report shows that Ndimande presented the ministers request to councillors on 29 March.
The financial director said his department had put in place plans to
open a bank account where all income from water and sewer would be
deposited. He said the account would also be used for all expenses pertaining to
water and sewer.
Ndimande said the 2011 budget estimated that $65 239 232 (63,36
percent of the $102 952 085 total budget) would come from water and
The budgeted surplus on the two accounts is $39 798 033. This can
be used to subsidise other services, said Ndimande.
He said services like health, roads, social services, fire and
ambulance that relied on cross subsidies would not deteriorate.
In the discussion that followed, Councillor Reuben Matengu of ward 21
said some departments could be incapacitated if the scheme was put into
place, as they did not generate sufficient income and yet they
provided services to other departments.
The Mayor, Clr Thaba Moyo supported MNdimande.
Responding to questions, the director of engineering service, Engineer
Simela Dube explained that the proposal was already a council policy.
Council in November 1998 resolved that water, sewerage, refuse
removal and road be managed as strategic business units. The concept
has been adopted and implemented by some local authorities in South
Africa, notably Ethekwini Municipality, with great success, he said.
The Town Clerk, Middleton Nyoni, advised that the relevant
departments would carry out a study on cross subsidies and submit a
After further discussion, it was resolved that the recommendation of
the ministries and the finance department, be adopted in principle.Post published in: News