MEC must intervene in failing municipalities

Anthony Benadie MPL

Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga

Note: The following member’s statement was delivered by Anthony Benadie, MPL and Leader of the Official Opposition to the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 9 April 2013.

The state of local governments in Mpumalanga continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Across our province municipalities are increasingly unable to deliver on the most basic of their mandates. Municipalities such as Emalahleni, Thaba Chweu, Lekwa and Msukaligwa are unable to pay their Eskom accounts. So too, Emalahleni, Msukaligwa, Govan Mbeki, Thaba Chweu to name a few, are unable to provide sufficient drinking water to their residents. In the Thaba Chweu and Emalahleni municipalities service delivery has come to virtual standstill.

The service delivery infrastructure in these municipalities is on the verge of collapse. In Thaba Chweu, hardly a single service is being rendered by the municipality. Not only are roads collapsing but raw sewage flows freely in the streets. Water supply is unreliable and most recently electricity supply is being sabotaged by factions within the administration.

The municipality is virtually bankrupt. How much longer will it continue?

While the MEC may have deployed a technical task team to deal with the situation Thaba Chweu, the situation there has spiralled so far out of control that the MEC must now place the municipality under administration. In fact, the municipal council must be dissolved.

In Emalahleni the municipality has lost its refuse collection ability. Garbage lines the streets and the entire town is becoming a dump site – risking the health of all residents. Water supply is not guaranteed – in fact at any given moment there is a part of this municipality without water, and the dilapidated sewer reticulation network is unable to cope with waste volumes, resulting in regular sewage spills in our communities. MEC Skhosana must act now, he has been in office for a number of weeks now, and has not taken a single decisive step to address the lives of Mpumalanga’s people.

The people of Mpumalanga are desperate, they are pleading for assistance and intervention, but while the ANC continues their internal war, fighting over positions and access to public funds, the people of our province will continue to suffer. Indeed, the oppression of our province’s people continues, but be warned, they will stand up.

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