The newly-elected Kouga Council has been shocked to find that the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro has issued it with a water bill for R 46 million.
This is in addition to the monthly water bill.
Kouga receives the bulk of its water from the Metro, despite the majority of the dams actually being in Kouga.
The consumption is measured monthly through metering equipment installed at the bulk pipelines.
According to the Metro, Kouga has been under-billed for water usage between 2012 and 2016 for both Jeffreys Bay and Paradise Beach.
“This will have a huge impact on our cashflow and our ability to deliver services,” said Executive Mayor Elza Van Lingen.
“I will be taking the matter up with the Metro to find out exactly how the under-billing occurred, why it took so long to realise there was a problem and what solution can be found to address the problem.
“Kouga also needs to come up with a detailed water plan on how we will deal with emergencies, as well as how we will secure our long-term supply of water.”
While Kouga does have boreholes that supply parts of Jeffreys Bay and also uses water from the Gamtoos River to supply water in Hankey, the municipality is totally reliant on water that is purchased from the Nelson Mandela Metro.
“Both the Metro and Kouga will experience growth in terms of the number of residents that require water, and it is clear that we need to become proactive and work out solutions before our taps run dry,” Van Lingen said.