Call for Makana to be placed under administration
CONCERNED residents have written to the provincial government warning that it could face court action if it did not place the bankrupt Makana municipality under administration and provide it with a financial bailout.
The Concerned Citizens Committee to Save Makana has given cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Fikile Xasa, two weeks to consider its demands or face a high court application.
The letter to Xasa comes after the group had earlier this month written to Makana mayor Nomhle Gaga, demanding that the municipality submit to once again having its affairs run by an administrator.
A press release from the comm legal firm, Wheeldon, Rushmere & Cole, said it wants Makana placed under “specialised administ in terms of section 139 (5) of the constitution.
This provides for an intervention in instances where a municipality cannot deliver services or meet its obligations due to the state of its financial affairs.
The committee has demanded that the provincial government should also provide drought and financial relief to the tune of some R47-million.
It earlier this month gave Gaga seven days to respond to a demand that the municipality submit to being placed under administration.
The letter has also been sent to the National Treasury, premier Phumulo Masualle and Cogta Minister Des van Rooyen.
Committee chair Ron Weissenberg set out the dire financial situation the municipality has admitted it found itself in.
It owes creditors over R146-million which it does not have. The municipality is itself owed some R366million which it cannot collect.
An inadequate rates collection means its deficit is growing by R5million a month and 80% of its income is spent on salaries and servicing some debts.
The money it collects for electricity is not all passed onto Eskom and the municipality owes the electricity provider some R55-million.
Eskom has threatened to cut the bulk supply to Makana unless it honours its debt repayments.
Makana also faces a dire water shortage with its main supply dam standing at just 24% of its water capacity. Major water supply outages seem inevitable.
The letter also sets how the financial crisis created enormous problems for the management of the municipal rubbish dump, its fire services and traffic services among others.
Cogta spokesman Mamnkeli Ngam yesterday said he could not immediately confirm whether or not Xasa had received the letter. However, he said Xasa would respond in due course after reading the letter.
Makana municipality had not responded at the time of writing.