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Water Dept set for grilling in Parly over finances

Parliament heard last month the department owes contractors more than R1 billion and has overspent its budget by R18.9 billion.

FILE: Water & Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Water and Sanitation Department can expect a grilling from at least two parliamentary committees next month over its dire financial position and the pending suspension of its Director-General Dan Mashitisho.

Parliament heard last month that the department owes contractors more than R1 billion and has overspent its budget by R18.9 billion.

Mashitisho was only appointed to his job in December.

But like his predecessor, already he appears to be at loggerheads with Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee Lulu Johnson, says that the situation must be probed.

“I can’t remember any other department that has got senior DDGs acting in four other divisions.”

Chairperson of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts Themba Godi says that the department is virtually bankrupt.

“The implications of a bankrupt department for the provision of water and sanitation in rural areas and informal settlements is quite dire.”

Johnson says he will be expecting the department to table its first quarterly financial report when Parliament resumes next month.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)