The Democratic Alliance is gravely concerned by the fact that Gariep Municipality, recently in the news for being on the verge of having its electricity supply cut off due to non-payment, is once again struggling to meet its financial obligations.
It is alleged that the municipality intends utilising the Municipal Demarcation Transition Grant (the purpose of which is to fund the costs associated with the ill-advised merger with Maletswai Municipality after the 2016 Local Government Elections), to pay the next instalment on its Eskom debt.
This, after four Eastern Cape municipalities received a R40 million bailout from the Provincial Government at the end of last year to keep the lights on!
It is further reported that the municipal finances are in such a shoddy state, that councillors and municipal employees did not receive their January paycheques.
The time has now passed for the MEC, Fikile Xasa, and the Provincial Executive to intervene and place Gariep under administration.
Clearly the current municipal government is incapable of doing its job and urgent assistance is needed to ensure that the financial situation is stabilised.
The MEC can no longer ignore the situation in Gariep.
The DA demands immediate action in terms of s139 of the Constitution.
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