Question NW3360 to the Minister of Water and Sanitation

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08 November 2023 - NW3360

Profile picture: Myburgh, Mr NG

Myburgh, Mr NG to ask the Minister of Water and Sanitation

(1)What (a) number of criminal charges has his department laid against municipal mayors and/or executive mayors who are in flagrant breach of legislation pertaining to the management of wastewater treatment facilities and water treatment plants (i) in the (aa) 2021-22 and (bb) 2022-23 financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2023 and (b) are the relevant details in each case; (2) what (a) are the details of all criminal charges that his department is currently in the process of instituting against municipal managers and/or executive mayors who are in serial transgression of water and sanitation legislation in the 2023-24 financial year and (b) are the relevant details in each case?


1. (a) Municipal- and executive mayors are generally not charged in matters against the local or district municipality as they are not accounting officers. Municipal Managers are also not as a general rule charged in their personal capacity, but the Municipal Manager is cited as the accounting officer in civil and charged in criminal matters as the head of the municipality (corporate entity). Should gross negligence or misconduct be reported or detected we are obliged to investigate and these individuals including the mayors can be charged. The matters below are cases against municipalities where the Municipal Manager has not been charged in their personal capacity. The Department of Water and Sanitation together with Department of Forestry Fisheries and Environment has however recently had a successful engagement with the National Director Public Prosecutions to reinstate and charge the delinquent Municipal Manager of Lephalale Local Municipality. There are also three contempt of court applications for Lekwa LM, Mookgopong LM and Dr Ruth Segomotsi DM where the Municipal Managers will be held personally liable.

Criminal Enforcement Actions Taken Against Non-Compliant Municipalities


2021 – 2022 financial year

2022 – 2023 financial year

1 April 2023 onwards

Local Government [WSA/WSP]








2. (a) The criminal charges instituted against municipalities and their municipal managers vary on a case by case basis. Based on section 151(1) of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act no. 36 of 1998) this can include subsection (a) use of water other than permitted under this Act; subsection (c) failure to comply with any condition attached to a permitted water use under this Act; subsection (d) failure to comply with a directive issued under section 19, 20, 53; subsection (i) unlawfully and intentionally or negligently committing any act or omission which pollutes or is likely to pollute a water resource. Cases opened in the 2023/ 2024 financial year are listed in the table below:

Wastewater Treatment Works



Bushkoppies and Goudkoppies WWTW

City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality

62/07/2023 & 423/07/2023

Hoedspruit WWTW

Maruleng LM


Percy Stewart WWTW

Mogale City


Hlelo Lunathi Hendrina

Nkangala District Municipality


Thabazimbi WWTW

Thabazimbi LM


Lindley WWTW

Nketoana LM


Koffiefontein WWTW

Letsemeng LM


Zandspruit pumpstation

Johannesburg Water


Giyani WWTW

Mopani District Municipality


Ermelo WWTW diversion

Msukaligwa LM



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