WATER and electricity losses over a period of nine months have cost the Nelson Mandela Bay metro a staggering R343m.
In March alone‚ more than 40% of Nelson Mandela Bay’s water went down the drain.
On a quick ride around the city on Thursday‚ The Herald found water leaks‚ one of which had been gushing unchecked for months‚ and residents illegally connecting electricity.
In Veeplaas‚ councillor’s assistant Zusakhe Bill said a water pipe behind the clinic in Lonwabo Street had been leaking for the past three months.
She said the leak had been reported to the municipality several times‚ but it had only sent someone to take a look and nothing else. No one had ever tried to fix it.
The city’s water losses between July and March alone were an eye-watering R135m.
On the ride-around‚ Vastrap residents were also seen connecting illegal power lines from the municipality’s Dunbar substation in Auburn Street‚ Booysen Park.
Electricity theft and technical issues have been blamed for the bay’s shocking R208m electricity losses over the nine-month period.
Peter Neilson, the acting executive director for electricity, said on Thursday that incorrect billing was another problem. It was hoped that the replacement of faulty meters would sort this out.
“Nontechnical losses are due to theft and incorrect billing‚” he said.
“This is being fixed by installing new electricity meters in areas that have faulty meters.”
Two years ago‚ the municipality hired Amat Security and Cleaning Services to help curb electricity losses.
Amat said it had saved the city R34m in electricity losses between July 2014 and June last year.
This was verified by an independent assessor‚ the University of Fort Hare‚ based on a specific formula‚ and the company was paid R17m for its first year.
However‚ councillors raised concerns at a budget and treasury committee meeting last week about the lack of progress in curbing electricity losses.
The municipality has also stated repeatedly that the savings are not being reflected in the city’s finances.
The original contract has since been amended to calculate the savings per meter.
TMG Digital/The Herald