Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) is owed P1.03 billion, with domestic use responsible for P800 million of the debt.
When addressing members of the media on Tuesday, the Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Gaselemogwe Senai, admitted that most of the high bills could have been caused by the excessive estimation they did after failing to get access to water meters inside some homes.
Senai said that after a difficult and volatile year for Botswana and the global economy, characterised by soaring inflation, increasing fuel prices, higher interest rates, declining liquidity, and the remnants of the COVID-19, the corporation realized revenue growth of 14% (2021:-1%). “Various strategies such as improved billing efficiency, digitization and clearing of a backlog on new connections were effected during the financial year culminating in a double-digit revenue growth and a recorded revenue of over P2 billion in a long time.”
He said that the Corporation’s Operating Expenses increased by a marginal 1% owing to strict adherence to the credit policy and the introduction of digital payment platforms in the form of third-party channels through banks and the recently launched kiosk.
He added that WUC reported a loss before tax of P204 million, a 20% improvement in comparison to the previous year.
He said that a growth of 33% in the statement of financial position was realised during the year due to additions to the fixed assets and increased capital work in projects funded largely by Government grants.
“The Corporations’ financial position remained stable despite the debt that has engulfed the business and the operating financial loss. The overall Customer Debt stood at P1.031billion at year end against P1.203 at end of March 2021, translating to a reduction of P 172million over twelve months.”
Senai said that aged debt remains a concern, something which they are resolving through intensified debt analysis. “This is supported by steadfast debt collection methods. In the year under review, our major revenue contributor, at 58 percent of total revenue, was Government. Our meter reading efficiency remains on target of over 90 percent. We are working towards ultimately impacting positively on debt, revenue and profitability as these are necessary for service expansion,” he noted.
Although government has been the major contributor to the corporations revenue together with councils, government institutions consumed only 1.8 % while Domestic Customer Category consumed 94% but contributing 27% only.