Infrastructure woes at EMLM
CONCERN over the state of infrastructure in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality (EMLM) area took centre stage in a crisis meeting attended by executive mayor Lindiwe GunuzaNkwentsha, and acting municipal manager Mziwoxolo Dingani in Komani on Monday.
Businessman Ken Clark said electrical infrastructure and roads seemed to be the worst hit.
“The municipality is not budgeting the 6% required by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa [Nersa] for infrastructure repair. The result is that the infrastructure is going backwards.”
Input of between R22-million to R25-million could make a difference in preventing an electrical crisis should another transformer blow. An amount of R128-million over three years could get the electrical system back on track.
Clark said the Waterdown Dam could only supply 60% of the town’s water and that the Bonkolo Dam was virtually empty. Both dams could no longer supply in the long-term demands of the town and it was essential for the Xonxa Dam pipeline to become operational.
“My business relies on water and if I do not have water, I do not have a business and 500 people will go without jobs.”
Concern existed about the deteriorating state of roads with some which would have to be rebuilt.
Dingani acknowledged that EMLM was facing problems but, he said, the authority was doing everything possible to address the situation. “We have drafted a plan to address the infrastructure in Ezibeleni, Queendustria and other areas. We need a lot of money to address the situation and currently we do not have it.”
He said the previously established idea of a task team needed to be revived. Relevant posts, including that of the municipal manager, had been advertised.
Councillor Pamela Xelo, who is in the CHDM office of Integrated Planning and Economic Development, was in accordance that the task team needed to be revived.
“We need to say what needs to happen and it needs to happen fast.”
Resources, skills and capacity remained an issue.
“The ANC-led government is clear on this, so when we talk capacity, we mean we will be critical in EMLM when it comes to employment.”
Border-Kei Chamber of Business chairman Les Holbrook said, “The only way we are going to solve these problems is if we have the right leadership. I recommend that we choose two captains – one from the private sector and one from the municipality.”
The representatives would establish a team to address the crisis.