Billion rand deficit at the water ministry. Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane has been summoned to an urgent Parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday afternoon.

She insists the department’s precarious financial position will not affect ongoing municipal infrastructural projects.

The Water and Sanitation Department owes its contractors more than R1.5 billion.

And its Water Trading Entity has an overdraft of almost R3 billion, because water boards and municipalities are not settling their debts.

But Mokonyane says she’s got the situation under control and that money will be shifted from regional infrastructure projects to plug the gaps.

“It’s not projects that are not going to be implemented even this year. It’s projects that are ongoing.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Leon Basson is not buying it.

“This is now the fourth version we’ve been presented with from the same department, with the same DG and same CFO.”

Mokonyane says municipalities should use their infrastructure grants more prudently to lessen the burden on her department.