The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality on Wednesday denied claims it had spent R150 per bottle on 240 bottles of still water.
This comes after a post made the rounds on social media showing an invoice of R36 000 sent to the office of the Chief Whip for 240 bottles of still water.
On the invoice, the unit price per bottle is listed at a whopping R150, leaving outraged users to question why the municipal would spend such an exorbitant amount on the water in light of its massive water debt.
Mangaung is among 30 municipalities that owe more than R10 billion in unpaid water bills to the Department of Water and Sanitation.
The invoice was sent by a Bloemfontein-based restaurant called Setsong Restaurant but it remains unclear what purpose the water was needed for.
Responding to the claims was spokesperson Qondile Khedama, who clarified that there was an error made in the purchase order, which was promptly corrected.
“The head of the office of the chief whip made a request for 150 packs of water (24x500ml pack).
“Because of the intensity of our system, supply chain picked up the description error after printing the order and a new correct order was immediately processed. The error that shows on the incorrect purchase order reflects R150 per 500ml instead of 150 packs of 24 x 500ml packs.
Khedama went on to explain that the service provider quoted R240 per 24 pack, meaning each bottle was calculated at R10.
So, for 150 packs of water, the bill did indeed add up to R36 000, Khedama confirmed but he added that the error came with the description.
“It is unfortunate that the communique that circulated did not take into consideration work that is happening internally, thereby sending a wrong signal to the public.
“We have urged our supply chain practitioners whom we regard as highly professional to be sensitive in handling the internal communication of the city. We would want to reiterate that we are working with highly professional workforce particularly when it comes to supplying chain matters because this is the focal area that regulates procurement.”