Thaba Chweu owes R200 million while MEC claims ignorance

Bosman Grobler MPL

DA spokesperson for cooperative governance and traditional affairs

Thaba Chweu’s electricity crisis seems to know no end as the municipality’s debt to Eskom has escalated to almost R200 million in a matter of months.

In a letter from Eskom about the municipality’s progress on settling its overdue debts, the power utility stated that Thaba Chweu’s failure to adhere to the repayment plan agreed upon left them no choice but to disconnect the electricity supply.

Click here to view the letter.

The non-payment of debts is unacceptable since former Cooperative Governance MEC, SPD Skhosana made numerous promises to ensure that the debt was paid and even instituted a task team that would help bring the ailing municipality back onto its feet.

It is not the first time that Eskom threatens to disconnect Thaba Chweu’s electricity supply due to non-payment. Last year, Eskom threatened to disconnect all bulk electricity supply to the municipality after it failed to settle its debts which at the time amounted to R146,6 million.

When confronted by the DA about the state of Thaba Chweu’s electricity, current Cooperative Governance MEC, Refilwe Mtsweni, claimed to know nothing about the impending disconnection but promised to look into it.

The DA calls on MEC Mtsweni to do more than just look into the matter but to take decisive action in ensuring that Eskom is paid timeously and the people of Thaba Chweu are not plunged into darkness arbitrarily.

The DA once again calls for the municipality to be dissolved in line with section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution since the ANC-led administration has ensured that all the service delivery crises gripping the municipality have deepened so much that it would take more than a simple turnaround strategy to bring Thaba Chweu back to its former glory.

To this end, we will write a letter to MEC Mstweni asking what plans she has to save the municipality and advise her on why it would be beneficial to dissolve the municipality.

A DA government will ensure that Thaba Chweu’s citizens are not left to suffer under leaders who are more invested in their party factions than in improving the lives of their citizens.