Eskom to Cut Electricity to Gariep

By Dacre Haddon

DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Local Government

The Democratic Alliance will be leading an application for an urgent special meeting of the Gariep Municipal Council, requesting a motion and vote of no confidence in the Mayor, Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

Eskom has today stated in an advertisement in the print media that it would “…continue with the planned disconnection of bulk electricity supply to Gariep Local Municipality on Thursday, 8 March 2012”. According to the advert Eskom’s decision follows intensive engagement with the municipality and various stakeholders that “…led to the half of the amount being paid, Gariep Municipality has since not paid the rest of the outstanding debt”.

The DA has repeatedly called on the on the MEC for Local government, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, to take action in the municipality be making examples of the officials in charge.

As a result of previous financial negligence, the DA had success in getting the MEC to institute a forensic investigation into Gariep Municipality last year. However, the dodgy finances continue. Gariep is plagued by a cancer of rot and corruption.

The communities of Burgersdorp and Steysburg are the ones who will suffer when Eskom cuts the power. The lack of decisive action by the MEC for Local Government to show leadership and take bold leadership to solve this disgrace is most worrying.

Should the council not decide in favour of a vote of no confidence, it will illustrate how ANC party patronage trumps incompetence and inefficiency.

Furthermore I am again writing to the MEC for Local Government to reconsider the DA request from last year to place this municipality under administration.

Incompetence of having the national electricity supplier cut off power to a municipality must be a first ever occurrence in the country.

The inefficiency of these municipal officials is going to cause the fizzling bomb of discontent by communities to explode due to lack of services and employment opportunity.

Heads must roll and an immediate clean up is required by Province to immediately stop further management crises in this municipality.

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