R617 million owed to essential service providers

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

The DA in Limpopo is calling on the MEC for CoGHSTA, to at least pay attention and concentrate on necessary and constitutional obligations of her department, primarily municipal level. Serious financial intervention is now needed at Local Municipalities.

As if there is no political head at CoGHSTA, the department seems to be at its comfort zone with at least (9) municipalities owing Eskom almost R115m for electricity and various water boards just over R500m making a total of R617m for the two essential services.

Makhado Municipality in R17.7m power bill, Ba-Phalaborwa in a R3m bill, Mookgopong R21m, and Thabazimbi at a staggering R62.3m debt all owed to Eskom. Meanwhile Ephrim Mogale owes R6.5m, Elias Motsoaledi R14.8m, Greater Giyani R3.9m Thabazimbi R11.7m, Ba-Phalaborwa R179mand Mopani District Municipality at R297.6m.

These debts are a result of violation to Municipal Finance Management Act and Supply chain management policies by either corrupt officials or unqualified deployed managers. The finance regulations clearly requires municipalities to cover their obligations within a 30day period.

Municipality failing to make payments as and when due and defaulting on financial obligations for financial reasons, makes enough criteria for MEC and her PEC to determine for the purpose of their much loved section 139 1 b of the Constitution that they are hell-bent on at Mogalakwena Municipality unnecessarily.

The DA is calling on the MEC to pay attention to her own house first. We are clearly heading for a disaster if government can allow municipalities to owe this much money on essential basic services for the people. We also wish to live up to the day where actual steps are taken against municipal officials who are office bearers to such owing councils.