Umgeni Water to get interim board soon

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane will soon announce an interim board to oversee Umgeni Water in the interests of sound corporate governance and stability at the utility.

Umgeni Water is the second largest water board in the country with an annual turnover of more than R2.4 billion and the five year Capital Expenditure budget of more than R7 billion.

Over the past five years, Umgeni Water has consistently been achieving excellent financial and non-financial performance, to an extent that it has successfully been achieving “Clean Audit Reports” annually, from the Office of the Auditor-General.

Acting Chief Executive Msizi Cele has also maintained good governance and ensured that no service interruptions occur.

However, following concerns raised by investors acting on behalf of bond holders in Umgeni Water, Minister Mokonyane has directed that the department engages with representatives of the concerned parties, including the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The Minister announced on Wednesday that she would be appointing an interim board at Umgeni Water, pending the finalization of a process for the appointment of a permanent Board.

"I have presented a proposed interim board to Cabinet today [Wednesday]. It is composed of persons with vast experience in the water sector and consisting of credible persons with the requisite financial, legal and management experience required at Umgeni Water.

"The interim board will be expected to meet as a matter of urgency to immediately attend to the corporate governance and financial management matters at the utility, including the composition of an independent audit committee to oversee the finances at Umgeni Water," Minister Mokonyane said.

The Minister further said the allegations made by the City Press of a possible R3 billion bail-out for Umgeni Water were completely in-factual and void of any truth. “The financial position of Umgeni Water remains positive and sustainable," the Minister said.

- SAnews.gov.za