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Minister Sisulu directs depts to start paying invoices & finalize outstanding water use licences

Lindiwe Sisulu

Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu instructed her departments to start paying invoices that were due and were payable within a period of 30 days.

This is in order to assist the struggling small and big companies in the construction, water and sanitation sectors according to the department of water and sanitation.

In a statement on Sunday, Sisulu directed all accounting officers under the ministry of human settlements, water and sanitation including waterboards and human settlements agencies to deal with the matter.

The minister also issued a directive that the department of water and sanitation acting director-general to finalise outstanding applications for water use licences.

“As the ministry, we have a crucial role to play in supporting efforts to revitalise our economy post-COVID-19. This includes us accelerating the issuing of water use licences.

“Many businesses and investors are heavily dependent on water use licences particularly for agriculture, mining and industrial sectors,” said Sisulu.

Sisulu continued to say that the outstanding applications for water use licences needed to be finalised within 30 to 60 days.

“We need to play our part in supporting our business community during this difficult time,” she said.

According to ministry spokesperson Yonela Diko, Sisulu expected a report within 14 days of all outstanding invoices and applications of water use licences.

“All of these be must more than 100 days and it needs to have reasons why they have not been processed and measures taken to address the backlogs,” Diko said.

Diko further said that Sisulu established the Ministry Business Support Unit (MBSU) in an effort to ensure that the departments under the ministry complied and rendered the necessary support to sectors.

“The Head of the Unit is Mr Nhlakanipho Nkontwana, a seasoned public servant who has served the government in various senior capacities.

“This unit will among other things, ensure that all outstanding payments are processed on time and that the issuing of water use licences is not delayed,” Diko added.

Meanwhile, lobby group Afriforum has written to the minister to request her department appoint a task team to focus on repairing water leaks as soon as possible.

Afriforum warned about the large-scale problem that water leaks present for the country after the Vaal Dam levels recently plummeted “to levels unseen since the beginning of 2017”.

-The Citizen

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