No Plans To Establish Water Arbitration Office

Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services , Itumeleng Moipisi
Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services , Itumeleng Moipisi

Government has no consideration to establish a water arbitration office to deal with complaints and disputes between consumers and Water Utilities Corporation (WUC).

Over the years, the Corporation has been inundated with complaints and disputes as water users disputed the billing by WUC for their monthly water usage. Many Batswana feel cheated by WUC, as their billing is mainly reliant on estimation.

Last week again Members of Parliament (MPs) told the assistant minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Itumeleng Moipisi that Batswana were unhappy with the Corporation’s continuous cheating of customers through its unscrupulous billing system.

Following a question by Mochudi East MP, Moagi Molebatsi if there are any considerations by government to establish a water arbitration office to handle disputes between water users and WUC, Moipisi conceded that indeed Batswana were unhappy with the billing system judging by the increasing number of complaints received by different WUC offices yearly.

But he indicated that there is no need to establish an arbitration office as there is already an existing complaints/disputes escalation office in all WUC offices.

“The procedure is that the complaint is received at the customer interface level and there is provision for its resolution up to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO),” he said.

“However, even if the complaint is not resolved at the CEO’s office, the complaint/dispute can be escalated to my ministry.”

When asked by Specially elected MP, Mephato Reatile he said if he will not consider introducing prepaid meters to deal with the issue of unscrupulous billing system, the junior minister said WUC is rather introducing smart meters instead of prepaid meters which will curb the discrepancies of water billing.

Meanwhile, Moipisi also stated that WUC is undertaking the replacements of brass meters with plastic meters to curb theft of experienced with brass meters. He said since 2010, the corporation has replaced 155, 140 meters at a cost of over P67 million including labour.

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