The Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) has admitted that its current financial situation remains a concern and threat to its existence as the debt levels lingers on.
Currently, the Botswana government is said to owe WUC a total of P383 million whilst household debt is pegged at P362 million. The business community owes as much as P128 million. Last year, the corporation admitted that the closure of BCL Mine in Selebi Phikwe also impacted on its revenue. It is estimated that WUC used to bill the former copper nickel producer as much as P3 million annually.
Despite the high level of debt, the corporation says it has recorded a slight improvement in its financials, with total revenue for year ending 31 March 2017 reaching P1.406 billion. This is in comparison to P1.304 billion recorded in 2016.
WUC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mmetla Masire said the main contributors to the growth recorded in revenue can directly be linked to efficiency in billing. The corporation also recorded an increase in new connections as well as ongoing disconnections fees.
“This may appear as if it is not a lot but clearly it shows we are moving in the right direction,” said Masire.
Masire expressed satisfactory to the growth in revenue and a reduction in operating costs, and he added that it was all without getting any government subsidy. He is of the view that water supply is a challenge much due to limited underground water in some area, dilapidated infrastructure and inadequate distribution network.
“We are addressing some of these challenges by various projects around the country with government funding and the World Bank loan,” he said.
Meanwhile the corporation has revised tariffs effective 1st April 2017. Masire said earlier that pursuant to the tariff policy the corporation will continue to regularly review the tariffs to bring them closer to a cost reflective price.