ANC votes in favour of tariff increases, once again failing residents of Govan Mbeki Municipality
“The DA in Govan Mbeki Local Municipality is once again disappointed that the ANC has voted in favour of electricity tariff increases despite the unemployment crisis during a state of disaster,” said Terry-Lee Kleynhans, DA ward 30 Councillor, “It is becoming more evident that the citizens of this municipality need justified answers to the lifting of the administration in the municipality by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA).”
“Despite the changes that have been affected as per the advice of the National Treasury, it is clear that the budget remains underfunded,” said Terry-Lee, “Even if by some miracle the municipality managed to collect all debt owed to them, we will still not be able to settle the enormous debt of Eskom and Rand Water that has accumulated, leaving an insolvent municipality regardless of tariffs being increased or not.”
“As a nation in a state of disaster, we find ourselves back to a level 4 lockdown which makes an increased unemployment rate inevitable – in addition to those that have lost loved ones and are struggling to get by.”
Communities cannot be punished for the municipality’s insolvency due to financial incompetence, maladministration or inability to successfully deal with water and electricity losses.
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Debt incentive schemes and indigent programs are initiatives that have been promised to the community. However, this faces a possibility of failure due to lack of correspondence and feedback to the community on their applications, leaving the DA with little faith in this initiative.
In addition, public consultation has shown us that members of the community cannot cope with tariff increases considering numerous integrated development planning (IDP) consultations ended with members of the public who did not condone or accept the budget that was formerly presented.
It has to be noted that the municipality then blatantly ignored public opinion that arose out of public consultations. Tariff increases will kick our people while they are lying down. The fact that the budget remains underfunded without any hope of seeing a turnaround in the finances of the municipality, is a reason for concern and we object to the recommendations of the Executive Mayor, Nhlakanipho Zuma, and do not accept the budget.