Governance issues at a utility responsible for the crucial service of water delivery cannot be ignored.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has written to Water and Sanitation Minister Gugile Nkwinti highlighting issues at the Magalies Water Board.

This water board, which is responsible for providing bulk water to municipalities, mines and other industries in Gauteng, Limpopo and the North West, is allegedly plagued with financial mismanagement, poor governance and unfair appointments.

We called on the Minister to look into the appointment of Tsakane Radebe, who appears to be unsuitable for the position of general manager of the Magalies Water project management unit and whose functions have been taken over by a contracting company called LMJ whilst she continues to serve in her role.   

This leads us to question the motives behind her appointment.

OUTA believes that advocate Mosotho Petlane, who chairs the utility’s board, is at the centre of the crisis.

Under Petlane’s tenure the following allegations were brought to OUTA’s attention:

-     Findings by the Auditor General (AG) on financial mismanagement and maladministration in 2016 and 2017 have been ignored by the board of Magalies Water, which undermines the AG’s report;
-    Over-payments to service providers; and
-    The board ignored evidence of fraud in the entity’s procurement process.

OUTA recommends that the Minister halt the appointment of financial consultants, initiate a forensic investigation into Tsakane and investigate the poor governance at Magalies Water.

Yamkela Ntola is OUTA’s Portfolio Manager for Water and Environment.

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