Members of parliament’s Standing Committee on Water and Sanitation have praised Mhlathuze Water for resolving issues that had been raised by the Auditor-General in previous financial years.

The Board of Mhlathuze Water appeared before the Water and Sanitation Committee last week to account for its performance during the 2017/2018 financial year and to report on governance matters at the water utility.

Board Chairperson, Thabi Shange, told the committee that since assuming office three months ago, the Mhlathuze Board had moved with expeditious speed to bring about stability and ensure an adherence to good corporate governance principles.

“We have already begun the process of appointing a permanent CEO at Mhlathuze Water and we anticipate that this is a process that will be finalised before the end of May 2019,” she said.

Commendable progress made

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Lulu Johnson, said it was pleasing to note that, by the Auditor-General’s own admission, Mhlathuze Water had made commendable progress by addressing issues that had previously led to adverse audit outcomes.

“We can safely say that Mhlathuze Water has turned the corner. This is one institution that has a good story to tell and we are extremely proud to note that it has made progress to address those issues that had been red-flagged by the Office of the AG,” he said.

Irregular expenditure cleared

Among those audit findings cleared by Mhlathuze Water were irregular expenditure and findings related to its plants and equipment.

The Committee also heard that Mhlathuze Water had, despite water volumes declining by 6% because of drought water restrictions, managed a surplus of R82 million and had an assets base of over R1 billion.