Outa broadens scope to investigate water administration issues

11th January 2017 By: Megan van Wyngaardt - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

Outa broadens scope to investigate water administration issues

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Wednesday said it would set its sights on South Africa’s ongoing water issues, through the introduction of an additional portfolio aimed at investigating possible maladministration within the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), regarding concerns around governance, transparency and corruption.

“By [ensuring that all relevant information regarding water and sanitation management is transparently available to society], we intend to expose areas of possible maladministration and corruption, which we believe is evident from the information we have received,” Outa water and environmental affairs portfolio manager Julius Kleynhans said in a statement.

The organisation has requested, through a Promotion to Access of Information Application, that Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane publish several reports which indicate water quality, water loss and compliance.

These include the complete Blue Drop reports of 2015 and 2016; the complete Green Drop report for 2015; the complete Non-Revenue Water reports for 2014 and 2016, and the complete Regulatory Performance Monitoring System reports for 2015 and 2016.

“The DWS has, in the past, made these reports available to the public; however, it now appears that this valuable information is being confined to DWS regional offices and municipalities,” said Kleynhans.

He added that the lack of transparency to the public and civil society was “unacceptable and disempowers society’s ability to hold government accountable for service delivery on this critical matter”.