Govan Mbeki Municipality is facing extensive financial difficulties. Electrical and water losses ads to the financial woes.
The Select Committee on Cogta conducted an oversight visit to Govan Mbeki Municipality on 15 September.
The chairperson of the committee Mr China Dodovu slammed the Mayor of Govan Mbeki Municipality on her poor leadership of the municipality.
Dodovu was visibly upset about the reception that the committee received during their visit. Mayor Thandiwe Ngxonono was late for the meeting with the committee.
The committee scolded the municipality regarding their continued financial woes. The also expressed their displeasure with the late submission of the Financial statements. Ngxonono offered an excuse that included the COVID-19 lockdown to which Dodovu replied that the statements should have been submitted last year already.
The committee lashed out at the bad leadership of the mayor and express their anticipation of the results of the investigation by COGTA into the municipality.
Opposition Leader, Democratic Alliance Caucus Leader Cllr Ciska Jordaan called on the resignation of Ngxonono.
“We call upon the Executive Mayor, Thandi Ngxonono, to do the right thing for the sake of the people of Govan Mbeki and step down from her position as political leader before having to face the Motion of No Confidence that the DA has submitted against her this month.” Said Ciska.
Ciska explained that the municipality is facing huge losses of its bulk purchases with no possible solutions in sight.
“The Govan Mbeki Municipality’s electricity and water losses have escalated to an all-time high during the month of August 2020, were it was losing 36.26% of the water that it purchased from Rand Water and 75.03% of the electricity purchased from Eskom.” Said Ciska, “These losses inevitably add to the municipality’s debt towards Eskom which is currently standing at a staggering R2.1 billion and over R300 million for Rand Water.”
The massive losses are attributed to a number of contributing factors:
· While Bethal, Emzinoni and Embalenhle have been load-shedded for months on end, the municipality has not been able to generate much revenue from the sales of electricity since they have not been able to sell any electricity at its offices or any of its usual vendors, but solely through online sales.
· Water pipe bursts and leaks, on the other hand, are the main contributor to the water losses.
Ciska said that the DA is appalled that most of the municipality’s income is lost to issues that are completely avoidable.
“However, instead of focusing on solutions, maintenance of infrastructure and generation of revenue; the ANC-led municipality has been keeping itself busy in recent days with appointing shoddy contractors which have exerted all their effort into replacing working electricity meters, spending millions on deviations because of continuously being in damage control mode and politically attempting to divert the attention away from the failures and infighting of the ANC.” Said Ciska.
She continued “The DA has been calling upon the MEC of CoGTA, Mandla Msibi, to place the Municipality under administration since July this year. In addition to this, the DA has at national level approached the Minister of CoGTA, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and the Office of the Deputy President, DD Mabuza requesting intervention. Yet we have not witnessed any political will or efforts into changing the status quo.”
“Meanwhile, it is the residents of Govan Mbeki who continue to suffer at the hands of the ANC, the municipality spiralling into debt. With these types of financial and material losses, it is unthinkable that the municipality continues about its day to day business without closing shop.”
The council is expected to sit again at the end of the month. It is expected that there will be a massive effort to remove the Mayor from her post.