The Madibeng Local Municipality collects upwards of R40-million per year for water supplies from crop and stock farmers, but still cannot clean up Hartbeespoort Dam, a crucial catchment of the scarce commodity called water.

Over aand above, the municipality collects sevral millions of rands from other ratepayers.

The dam, which to the naked eye is a shadow of its former glory, has presently turned into a slimy mud hellhole.

The negative impact on Hartbeespoort Dam as a tourist destination, and the resultant jobs losses, cannot be underestimated.

For an incredible 25 years of democracy Hartbeespoort Dam has not been cleaned up, against the backdrop of several millions of rands drawn from the agricultural community and other ratepayers.

This is a straight forward supply and demand environment, whereby the municipality can indeed afford to employ the necessary expertise to clean up the dam, but then nobody is taking responsibility.

Documentation from the Ministry for cooperative governance and traditional affairs, in the possession of Madibeng Times, lists the waste management services at Hartbeespoort Dam, which have allegedly ground to “a complete halt”.

The documentation further charges that all waste contracts had expired and not being filled, with allegations that a municipal director was deliberately halting the process.

It is further alleged waste contractors were being used as a bargaining tool “to destabilise” the municipality.

“All managers in this department have been promoted to acting directors,(while ) the department is non-functional”.

Expert opinion suggest in just a few years the broader area of the Madibeng Local Municipality could plunge to all-time lows, with the mining and agricultural sectors steadily pulling out.

The exodus, should it happen, would be a downright business decision because no investor is prepared to do business in an environment of severe water shortages.

A bread basket beckons and it is the responsibility of the municipality to provide leadership, or else the voters may not be so kind, come the 2016 local government elections.

With this in mind, every single member of the community needs to make their voices heard, before it is too late.

Or was yesterday too late, too?