Debt de­lays de­liv­ery

Busi­ness com­mu­nity will help with clean­ing

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - ANDISA BONANI

Enoch Mgi­jima Mu­nic­i­pal­ity ex­ec­u­tive mayor Si­sisi To­lashe has in­di­cated that var­i­ous en­ti­ties owe the mu­nic­i­pal­ity a whop­ping R743.5mil­lion – money which could be used to re­pair and main­tain the de­cay­ing elec­tri­cal net­work.

To­lashe hosted a stake­holder en­gage­ment meet­ing on Tues­day to brief and up­date com­mu­nity struc­tures about the fi­nan­cial state and the elec­tric­ity is­sues of the lo­cal au­thor­ity.

She said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had a short-term plan to curb power out­ages in sev­eral ar­eas un­der its the ju­ris­dic­tion.

“The Ez­i­be­leni, Eb­den, Queen­dus­tria and Western sub­sta­tions had not been main­tained in a long time, hence there is of­ten an is­sue that leads to power out­ages in some ar­eas. We are look­ing to ap­point a pro­fes­sional ser­vice provider – who will also pro­vide main­te­nance ser­vices – to con­duct an au­dit at all four sub­sta­tions.”

To­lashe said the long-term plan to re­solve the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s elec­tric­ity prob­lems would be to up­grade the un­der­ground ca­bles and sub­sta­tions.

“We need R50m for this fi­nan­cial year to en­sure an un­in­ter­rupted elec­tric­ity sup­ply and main­te­nance – money which we cur­rently do not have. The as­sis­tance which we have re­ceived from provin­cial govern­ment through the ad­min­is­tra­tor, Vuyo Mlokothi, will help us im­prove our rev­enue col­lec­tion so that we can ad­e­quately pro­vide ser­vices to our com­mu­ni­ties.” With re­gard to refuse re­moval, To­lashe said they had part­nered with busi­ness, which had of­fered to as­sist by providing clean­ing ser­vices.

“Within the next 10 days or so we will is­sue a new refuse col­lec­tion sched­ule which will be made pub­lic and that ser­vice will con­tinue with the help of busi­nesses around Ko­mani. The rea­son for us not be­ing able to pro­vide this ser­vice is due to the auc­tion­ing off of our fleet that took place ear­lier in the year.

“The ad­min­is­tra­tor is col­lect­ing ev­ery avail­able ve­hi­cle to en­sure that refuse is re­moved in all ar­eas on the del­e­gated days.”

Taxi in­dus­try mem­ber Vuyani Shumi said he did not be­lieve any­thing of what the mayor was say­ing as there was no power in some parts of Ez­i­be­leni while she was speak­ing.

“We al­ways see and hear that elec­tri­cians are work­ing, but power is never re­stored for longer than a week. We go for days with­out power and no one seems to be both­ered by what is go­ing on. My ad­vice would be for Eskom to take over elec­tric­ity sup­ply in the whole of the Enoch Mgi­jima area.”

Bor­der-Kei Cham­ber of Busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tor Adre Bar­tis asked why prop­erty rates were not em­pha­sised as a source of rev­enue.

“There needs to be proper billing in the prop­erty rates gen­er­ally and money needs to be col­lected from farm­ers. A land au­dit also needs to be con­ducted so that in­ter­ested busi­ness peo­ple can in­vest in it in or­der for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity to get money.”

May­oral com­mit­tee mem­ber No­luthando Nqabisa said there was go­ing to be a gen­eral assess­ment on all mu­nic­i­pal land and prop­erty to de­ter­mine its mar­ket value and for it to be re­leased for po­ten­tial in­vest­ment in or­der to ex­pand its sources of rev­enue.

Com­mu­nity polic­ing fo­rum mem­ber in Ez­i­be­leni Mava Si­ralar­ala said he ap­pre­ci­ated ef­forts from the mayor to cre­ate plat­forms for stake­hold­ers to be up­dated about the go­ings-on of the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and for them to have a say in is­sues which were af­fect­ing them.

‘Funds from provin­cial govern­ment will help us with rev­enue col­lec­tion’

Pic­ture: ANDISA BONANI

UP­DATE: Enoch Mgi­jima Lo­cal Mu­nic­i­pal­ity ex­ec­u­tive mayor Si­sisi To­lashe

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