An open letter to Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality
CONCERNED resident of Komani
writes: The report (“Bank loan for municipality” The Rep, January 19) that the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality is planning to borrow R40-million to allow payment to Eskom filled me with even more concern than normal.
While the town’s CBD and the residential areas’ infrastructure is showing obvious signs of collapse – from potholed streets to sewage leaks – it seems there is no money to fix even the smallest things. Road signs are not replaced and stormwater drains continue to be blocked up.
My question is: where is the money going – and where has it gone in the past? We have heard that the municipality is planning to step up debt collection but will it be enough to restore services – and the delivery thereof to the town, repay the bank loan, pay Eskom and staff salaries in the months to come and to start working on replacing infrastructure?
I would like to be positive, but I doubt that the municipality would suddenly start making so much money as to allow it to make a major turnaround in the next few months.
The alternative scenario is even scarier: a town where Eskom will eventually cut off the power and where services will continue to deteriorate until business pulls out and Komani – and the surrounding towns which also fall under EMLM – become ghost towns.
Maybe the municipality must first do an internal audit and see where they are wasting money and then curb their expenses. In addition, start by being transparent and tell residents what is happening.
HAVING FUN: Playways pupil, Alu Ngculu, enjoying her food at snack time during the first week of school