Private water suppliers in Maputo and neighbouring Matola have won their demand for their licences to be awarded for five-year periods. The National Water Board (DNA) announced on 12 February that these licences would indeed be issued. This concession followed the private suppliers' rejection of one-year licences, and their threat to turn off the taps, depriving water to citizens of the two cities not covered by the public network.
According to DNA deputy director Suzana Laforte, "we entered negotiations with the private water suppliers and we came to the conclusion that we must give them five-year licenses as they demand. The government acknowledges their importance to the communities, and thus they must be listened to".
She stressed that this process must not benefit only the private operators or the government, but must preserve the interests of the public. This means that no decision taken during the negotiations should prejudice the interests of the consumers or the quality of the water.
For his part, the chairperson of the private water suppliers, Paulino Cossa, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the negotiations, saying that "we must work hard to ensure that the water we supply to the consumers is of good quality, and that there is no disparity in prices'.