NEWS & ANALYSIS

R248m Eskom debt: Naledi gets temporary reprieve – Jacqueline Theologo

DA says major power blackout was averted after power utility agreed to consider options for a possible settlement

R248m Eskom debt: Naledi gets temporary reprieve from a major blackout

19 July 2017

A major power blackout in Naledi Municipality was averted after Eskom agreed to a public participation process to consider options for a possible settlement on the R248m debt owed to it by the municipality.

The DA had consistently been calling on the municipality to come clean and inform residents on what has been done to settle the debt. We wanted residents to be informed on whether the debt had been settled or if a payment plan has been agreed to with Eskom.

We hope Naledi will adhere to the conditions of this temporary reprieve as it had previously failed to adhere to the previous payment agreements with Eskom.

In November 2016, the DA had asked the national Parliamentary Water and Sanitation Committee to summon the Mayor and Municipal Manager to come and appear before it. This has not happened.

Despite the impeding power cut, Naledi residents are also being affected by erratic water supply due to poor maintenance of bulk infrastructure. A power cut will only make the situation worse.

The municipality’s administrators are pre-occupied with political infighting as the MEC for Local Government, Fenny Goalaolwe, made a failed attempt to reverse the illegal appointment of the MM, Tshepo Bloom.

We will write to the Chairperson of Local Government and Human Settlements, Hon Rosho, and request the MEC and Head of Department to be summoned, along with the Naledi Mayor and MM, in order for them to explain the situation to the Portfolio Committee and submit their action plan.

This community deserves better and we urge them to be active and partake in the by-election next month to ensure they receive the political leadership only the DA can provide. Where we govern our communities are our first priority and our audit reports are testimonies of accountable and good governance.

Issued by Jacqueline Theologo, DA NW Spokesperson on Local Government, 19 July 2017