RESIDENTS TO BE IN THE DARK AS MUNICIPALITY REMIND PAYMENTS
RESIDENTS of Musina are set to be plunged into darkness as the municipality tries to recover unpaid servrcis.
The move has angered residenta who have in turn accused if of failing to deliver basic services to the communities.
The residents say that they do not understand how they have incurred such arrears since their electricity is on prepaid.
The problems are said to have started when the Municipality merged with the Mutale Local Municipality in 2016. According to the residenta, people who fell under Mutale Municipality still enjoy their services and their electricity is also on prepaid but they are not getting the unjust treatment that Musina residents are being subjected under.
Among others, the residents say that they understand that there are RDP houses that Municipality officials rent out to strangers and foreigners and some are being sold to these unknown people at a price amounting to R50 000.
They say that when they went to enquire about the allocation of such houses they are told that they shall be responded through a letter.
Mike Ndou of the Musina Residents Grievances group said that: “We took it upon ourselves and went to Coghsta offices to enquire about the allocation process of RDP houses and who they were given to; we were told that most of these people have already been allocated RDP’s in the past five years”.
Ndou added that they are also concerned about how tenders are awarded to strangers when there are capable contractors in Musina. He said that there are ongoing paving projects and one where a tarred road is constructed but no one from Musina municipality benefits from them.
“It is the Municipality’s duty to ensure that sub-contractors are being ring-fenced in these projects and in the process they will be uplifting our people and the society,” Ndou said.
He said that they have submitted a memorandum of grievances to the Municipality in the previous week and they were given 7 days to respond to the memorandum and failure to do will results in a mass protest.
“Things will get out of hand should they fail to respond to the community within the stipulated time and date. There will be no one to blame but the Municipality itself. They are there because of the community and they must serve according to the mandates given to them by the people.”
Ndou said that the community is angry that since the Mayor was inaugurated few years ago, he never reached out to the communities to listen to their grievance.
‘The Community is angry about that because he never organised any Imbizo around the area,” he said.
A Spokesperson for the Municipality, Wilson Dzebu said that it was not a threat that will disconnect such services for the people who fail to pay and they are going to disconnect. He said it would not be the first time they did it because the Municipality understands that it is not everyone that is on prepaid.
“There is no way the Municipality can operate without making revenue therefore people must pay for what they are using. Disconnecting such services is one of our credit control measures. We need money to conduct service delivery issues and we cannot be able to build roads if people are not paying services,” he said.
Dzebu dismissed claims that the Municipality does not provide contracts to the people from Musina saying that they do advertise posts and people who meet the requirements do get contracts. He added that it was unfortunate that most of the projects do not fall under the Municipality but under Venetia Mine to name a few.
He said that he was not convinced that there are officials from the Municipality that sell or rent out RDP’s because they needed concrete evidence and names of the people they suspect to have acquired RDP’s illegally.
“We would be able to investigate such allegations if they furnished us with evidence and bring to book those that are found to be on the wrong side of the law. They should also give us attended register and minutes of the meeting they had with Coghsta officials,” he said.