THE DA caucus on the Makana council has slammed the municipality for using revenue generated from electricity sales to pay R13-million monthly in salaries for its “bloated and inefficient workforce”, rather than pay Eskom.
This follows similar exposure of Makana’s massive indebtedness and other problems affecting service delivery by the Concerned Citizens Committee to Save Makana in July.
At the time, the Concerned Citizens group called on the provincial government to place Makana under administration, which has happened before without success.
In a statement released on Sunday, Makana DA caucus leader Mlindi Nhanha said service delivery in Makana Municipality had ground to a halt under the ANC-led council, with the equitable share grant being used to pay an exorbitant overdue Eskom debt.
“Makana Municipality has failed to discharge most, if not all, of its constitutional obligations including servicing its debts, with an amount of R52-million owed to Eskom,” Nhanha said. “Our municipality has continuously failed to hold up its end of the deal on an agreed-upon payment plan between Eskom and our council.
“An overwhelming majority of Grahamstown residents pay for their electricity consumption, however revenue generated from electricity sales is redirected to paying R13-million monthly in salaries of a bloated and inefficient workforce.”
The DA has submitted a motion in this regard to be debated in the next council meeting, calling on the municipality to ring-fence all revenue generated from electricity sales to be used to settle the outstanding debt to Eskom.
Nhanha also said the DA would continue to make representations to the provincial and national departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to play a greater role in resolving the crisis in Makana.
“The financial crisis of Makana Municipality has reached its worst levels ever. We will do everything in our power to ensure that residents of Grahamstown are not adversely affected by the looming interruption of bulk electricity supply set to commence on December 8 due to the inability of our municipality to pay the debt.”
Makana municipal spokesman Anele Mjekula did not respond to Talk of the Town’s request for comment.