Umgeni Water is a State-Owned Entity (SOE), established in 1974, to provide water services – water supply and sanitation services – to other water services institutions in its service area. The entity operates in accordance with the Water Services Act (Act 108 of 1997) and the Public Finance Management Act (Act 1 of 1999), amongst others, and is categorised as a National Government Business Enterprise. Umgeni Water reports directly to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), through the Board (Accounting Authority) and through its functionaries, the Chairperson of the Board and the Chief Executive. The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation is the Executive Authority for Water Boards.
Activities of Umgeni Water
The primary activities of Umgeni Water, as pronounced in section 29 of the Water Services Act, are to provide water services (water supply and sanitation services) to other water services institutions in its service area.
In addition, section 30 of the Water Services Act, enables Umgeni Water to undertake other activities, provided these do not impact negatively on the entity’s ability to perform its primary activity. These include:
- Providing management services, training and other support services to other water services institutions, in order to promote co-operation in the provision of water services;
- Supplying untreated or non-potable water to end-users who do not use the water for household purposes;
- Providing Catchment Management Services to or on behalf of the responsible authority;
- With the approval of the Water Services Authority having jurisdiction in the area – supplying water directly for industrial use, accepting industrial effluent and acting as a water services provider to consumers;
- Providing water services in joint venture with water services authorities; and
- Performing water conservation functions.
Umgeni Water has 100% investment in two (2) subsidiaries; Msinsi Holdings and Umgeni Water Services.
Supply Area and Customers (shown in map)
KwaZulu-Natal is the gazetted supply area of Umgeni Water and Mhlathuze Water which straddles a total geographical area of 94 359 km2; which is home to 11.1 million people and 2.9 million households.
The KwaZulu-Natal Province comprises one (1) Metropolitan Municipality, ten (10) District Municipalities and forty-three (43) Local Municipalities. Fourteen (14) of these municipalities are Water Services Authorities (direct retail customers) as defined in the Water Services Act.
In the reporting period, Umgeni Water focused on service delivery and largely derived revenues from six (6) customers:
- eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality;
- iLembe District Municipality;
- Ugu District Municipality;
- Harry Gwala District Municipality;
- uMgungundlovu District Municipality; and
- Msunduzi Local Municipality;
In 2017, Umgeni Water successfully concluded a supply agreement with an additional municipality:
- uThukela District Municipality.
Umgeni Water’s infrastructure assets in support of its bulk water services business comprise:
- Approximately 1260 kilometres of pipelines and sixty-seven (67) kilometres of tunnels,
- Fifteen (15) impoundments,
- Twenty (20) water treatment works, and
- Eleven (11) wastewater treatment works.
A total of 472 million cubic metres of potable water per annum (1294 Ml/d) are currently supplied to customers who serve a population of 6.7 million or 1.9 million households through reticulation networks.