RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Following an assembly vote state water and wastewater operator CEDAE will finally be privatised after years of discussion.
Authorization was passed, with 41 votes in favour against 28 votes opposing, to put the struggling water utility up for sale.
The decision to privatise CEDAE has been controversial, sparking employee protests and clashes with police.
For Rio, the move would unlock a BRL3.5 (US$1.1 billion) federal government loan to help with public service recovery.
Rio city and state have been facing financial trouble due to a costly infrastructure spend for the Olympics and downturn of the oil industry.
Humberto Lemos, president of the Sintsama union in Rio, reportedly told the Globo news website: “We will have 30 percent working. Under the law, this is an essential service. That’s so there won’t be a shortage of water for the population, which can’t be penalized.”