Debt delays delivery
Business community will help with cleaning
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’
UPDATE: Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality executive mayor Sisisi Tolashe