It will get worse before it gets worse

The water and sanitation department of the Madibeng municipality was placed under administration more than a year ago, yet it is still in a state of utter chaos. Water pipes in Hartbeespoort burst on a daily basis, leaving many residents without running water for days on end. One of the reservoirs in Schoemansville overflows on a regular basis, spilling thousands of litres of filtered water down the storm water drains (mostly blocked) straight back into the Hartbeespoort Dam. The water sanitation plant hasn’t processed a single drop of sewage for over a year. The end result of this ecological disaster is that mega litres of raw sewage is flowing directly into the Hartbeespoort Dam. At the same time other government departments are spending millions in a desperate effort to clean up the Dam. More money is wasted on useless security to guard various pump stations that only function as an outlet of the sewage than what was intended for the dysfunctional plant. The eight or so poor souls employed by Madibeng at the Rietfontein sanitation plant’s only function is to occupy the few shade spots.

The ruling party in the national government has not yet announced a date for the municipal elections that must take place this year. Opposition parties claim that this is purely a tactic to play for time because more than 60% of the local municipalities in South Africa are in a state of chaos, stripped bare by corruption and incapable of any form of service delivery. Technically the local elections must take place before the end of August. According to council insiders officials are spending all their time jockeying for positions within the various factions within the ruling party and no energy is spent on actually managing the municipality.

Many residents complained to Kormorant that their monthly municipal accounts are faulty, with others not receiving any accounts at all. Complaints were also received that some residents had their electricity cut, even when their accounts were up to date. A Madibeng councillor admitted that the finance department has imploded and no form of national intervention will save the situation.

The current state of affairs will continue until after the local elections, with no indication that the situation will improve in the near future. Be prepared for a state of Armageddon in Madibeng.

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