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We need transparency in water regulation

In light of the water crisis in South Africa, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) has seen a growing request from the public to investigate possible maladministration within the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), regarding concerns around governance, transparency and corruption.

OUTA’s strategy to hold governing authorities to account on pertinent public interest matters will now introduce an additional portfolio to set its sights on water issues and will begin by ensuring that all relevant information regarding water and sanitation management is transparently available to society.  “By doing so, we intend to expose areas of possible of maladministration and corruption, which we believe is evident from the information we have received,”  says Julius Kleynhans, OUTA’s Portfolio Manager for Water and Environment Affairs.

In this regard, OUTA has requested (through a Promotion to Access of Information Application – PAIA),  the Minister of Water and Sanitation to publish the following reports which indicate water quality, water loss and compliance:

a) the Complete Blue Drop Reports of 2015 & 2016.
b) the Complete Green Drop Report of 2015
c) the Complete Non-Revenue Water Reports 2014 & 2016, and the
d) the Complete Regulatory Performance Monitoring System Reports for 2015 & 2016.

“The DWS has in the past made these reports available to the public, however it now appears that this valuable information is now being confined to DWS regional offices and municipalities,” says Kleynhans. “We believe this lack of transparency to the public and civil society is unacceptable and disempowers society’s ability to hold Government accountable for service delivery on this critical matter.”

We trust that the DWS will work with OUTA and embrace a spirit of transparency and engagement with us, in a manner that ensure the best interests of the public are attended to at all times.

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