The Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality is on the brink of financial collapse, services have basically ground to a halt and very soon Eskom will cut the power to the municipality.
This will have a massive negative impact on the local business sector and can lead to job losses on a large scale.
I have therefore written to the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane, and the MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Xolile Nqata, to request an urgent section 154 intervention in this municipality. See letter attached here.
Section 154 states that national and provincial governments must support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to manage their own affairs.
The municipality owes Eskom more than R100 million. The Municipal Manager, Xolela Msweli, has already entered into four repayment arrangements, but has defaulted on all of these. As a result Eskom has announced recently that they will commence with scheduled electricity cuts to the municipality. The electricity cuts will continue until the municipality is in a position to either settle the debt or enter into a new repayment arrangement.
The Council recently adopted its 2019/20 MTREF budget. This budget is unrealistic and based on incorrect assumptions that will lead to further financial ruin. I will also be writing to National Treasury to advise them that they are potentially fraudulently being misled by this municipality insofar as the budget is concerned.
Service providers are not being paid and medical aid and pension fund contributions are not being made on behalf of staff members. This could potentially lead to municipal staff downing tools and significantly impact on what little service delivery remains.
I am also concerned that the appointments of the Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer might have been irregular.
While all of this is going on, the Cradock Waste Water Treatment Works, under the auspices of the Chris Hani District Municipality, is non-operational and untreated sewage is flowing into the Great Fish River. This endangers the livelihoods and the health of local residents.
It is clear that that the ANC government does not care about the well-being of local residents.
Only a DA government can bring financial stability and speedily deliver basic services to the people of the Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality.
Retief Odendaal MPL
EC Midlands Constituency Leader