Nelson Mandela Bay should have some idea of whether National Government intends to assist in funding the completion of the Nooitgedagt Low Level Scheme, when Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene tables his 2015 Budget and accompanying documentation in the National Assembly on February 25.
In her most recent statement on the issue in the National Council of Provinces in November last year, Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane said that R450 million had been provided by National Treasury as part of drought relief in 2010, adding that the metro “was expected to make funding available from own sources to complete the project”.
However, she noted, the municipality had “not been able to raise the required funds”.
Mokonyane said in order to address the matter a task team had been set up led by her department that included National Treasury, the Coega Development Corporation and Amatole Water to explore funding options.
The metro, she said, had opted for a special submission to Nation Treasury for funds and whether that funding will be forthcoming and when could be revealed on February 25.
In November 2012, then Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa told the National Assembly the metro had applied for a further R351 million to complete the scheme, adding that of this R115 million was required “to obtain first potable water through to the metro and transferred into the various water network systems, and R236 million to complete the project”.
However, she said, there was “no intent to provide further funding, as Municipality is expected to carry the costs of completion by means of loans and/or reprioritisation within its infrastructure budget”.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has said that Nelson Mandela Bay faces a drought this year and the possibility of water restrictions and accompanying punitive tariffs has already been mooted, but not introduced.
The Infrastructure and Engineering Directorate said in a recent report completion of the Nooitgedagt Low level Scheme would have meant that the drought could have been averted.
It is unlikely that metro will have the financial resources to complete the project without substantial assistance.
“Article published from Metro Minutes by Patrick Cull”.