With the cost of living rising and customers experiencing change in prices for goods and services, the Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) says it does not have any plans or consideration to revise its rate upwards.
A water tariff review process involves a proposal and request to Cabinet by WUC through the parent ministry. Once approval has been made by cabinet then the tariff can be effected.
“Currently, there are no plans to review the tariff”, says WUC Chief Executive – Gaselemogwe Senai. He shares that the last revision to the water tariffs was imposed in June 2021 with the lowest consumption Tariff block of 0-5 kiloliters (5000Liters) for domestic not being subjected to any adjustment and VAT, to ensure affordability.
Senai however admits that the state-owned water supplier is making two steps forward and three steps back in its effort to collect outstanding debts from customers.
Senai says while customers are now generally compliant, there has been a forth and back setting due to the fact that there is continuous accrual of debt.
“The Corporation continues to allow flexible payment plan arrangements to improve customer affordability of outstanding bills”, says Senai.
Figures shared by the water utilities company shows that by 31 March it was owed as much as P1.211 billion with P641 776 611 of that collected in the fourth quarter of last year. WUC says the debt for domestic customers was sitting at P799 million during the period under review.
“It is key to note that debt is a moving target and while we make strides in collection, there is continuous accrual of debt due to ongoing consumption”, says Senai.
Since the start of the year, the corporation through its various stations across the country has been on a campaign to urge customers to settle their outstanding bills. WUC has also implemented measures such as consistent Communication with Customers and stakeholders and account management campaign that promotes participation by customers in active account management.
Senai says by taking water education to various stakeholders, WUC has seen Batswana appreciating the processes involved in bringing potable and wastewater to their homes and understanding the need to pay their water bills.
“There are instances where some customers had stayed longer without paying for water and for those we encouraged payment plans for continuous water supply.”
Senai says that where such plans are not made or honoured, the Corporation has terminated water supply. “Disconnected customers however tend to reconnect immediately. We encouraged Batswana to manage their water accounts to ensure that there are no supply interruptions and inconveniences.”