Business Unity South Africa (Busa) and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) have agreed to cooperate in setting up a structured process aimed at resolving some of the key challenges facing many of South Africa’s dysfunctional municipalities, particularly in the areas of water and sanitation and electricity supply.
This follows Friday’s engagement between Busa, Business Leadership South Africa and the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize.
Cogta stated that, about two-thirds of municipalities in South Africa are rated as ranging between barely functional and completely dysfunctional.
“Disruptions in the supply of water and sanitation and electricity services is a common struggle for residents and businesses of all sizes in these municipalities,” said Busa.
It was noted that Busa and Cogta have teamed up with the Department of Water and Sanitation to explore the development of new models for water related public-private partnerships, as well as the replication and scaling of existing interventions such as those employed under the National Business Initiative’s Western Cape drought crisis team.
Busa CEO Tanya Cohen stated that while business recognised the challenges faced by State-owned Eskom as a result of non-payment by municipalities, power interruptions are not considered the most suitable option as it puts businesses and jobs at risk, as well as communities that depend on municipal services.
Busa together with Eskom are exploring mechanisms that will provide a solution to the electricity supply challenge facing municipalities without the negative impact on businesses and will also engage with the Nuclear Energy Regulator of South Africa on proposed short term interventions while in the longer term, more sustainable plans are put in place.