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North West Local Government and Human Settlements MEC Mmoloki Cwaile, has welcomed the North West High Court ruling which directs Kgetlengrivier Concerned Citizens to hand over water treatment plants back to Magalies Water.

This follows a protracted court battle, which saw the court ordering the group to handover the water and wastewater treatment plants back to Magalies Water, which was appointed as the implementing agent earlier this year.

The North West High Court has also granted an interdict against the Concerned Citizens, restraining them from blocking the entrance and egress of the water and wastewater treatment plants situated in Koster and Swartuggens.

Cwaile said the group reneged on an arrangement where all parties agreed that they will hand over the water and waste treatment plants to Magalies Water, as an implementing agent. 

“We have been vindicated because we said from the onset that we cannot allow a situation where the infrastructure is managed and controlled by private people. We can’t allow the safety of the community of Kgetlengrivier [to be] compromised by having the plants controlled by unauthorised people,” Cwaile said on Wednesday.

According to the department, the group retook the plants in March 2021 after it was handed over to Magalies Water as per the agreement of all parties, lamenting non-payment by the department for the work done while they occupied the plants between January and February 2021.

“They denied the officials of Magalies Water access to the plants raising an issue of non-payment by the department, in spite of their lawyer having been informed about the delay in payment due to the closure of the financial payment systems at the end of the financial year 2020/21.

“The department has since paid over R15 million for the operations and maintenance of the plants, as well as their legal costs, which was one of the conditions contained in the settlement court order,” Cwaile said.

Cwaile will preside over the official handover of water and wastewater treatment plants back to Magalies Water.

Municipality called to accelerate service delivery

Meanwhile, the MEC has called on the Kgetlengrivier Municipality to make sure that they accelerate service delivery to the community, and urged Magalies Water to occupy the plants as a matter urgency to avoid water services disruptions. 

“We call on the rate payers to work with government in adding a positive impetus to our people’s desire for a better life and redress on any other concerns.  The Provincial Executive Council has resolved to provide an increased support to Kgetlengrivier and other municipalities, through the District Development Model, working with the national government,” Cwaile said.

SAnews.gov.za

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