By Thys Khiba
Bloemfontein- The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Free State province says that they are concerned over the current state of the electricity supply in the Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality.
The DA says that will strengthen their efforts on a local, provincial and national level to place the municipality under administration. According to the second biggest opposition party in South Africa, community of Harrismith have experienced electricity interruptions with no apparent remedy in sight.
“The DA regards this situation as another symptom of the extreme dysfunction in the municipality which owes Eskom over R6 billion. This debt has been allowed to build up since 2014 when the amount stood at R400 million,” said DA MPL Leona Kleynhans.
The DA views the latest challenges of the Maluti-a-Phofung as the result of many years of neglect and shortcuts to keep the electricity on. “The municipality’s electricity department is grossly underfunded and upgrade programmes.”
And this has resulted in overloaded lines, exploding transformers, burnt out substations and cables says the DA. The municipality’s electricity network is regarded as totally degraded and extremely fragile with no second optioncapacity to cushion the system when anything goes wrong. This means that every load shedding schedule and cable theft causes more harm and continues to damage the network.
According to the Democratic Alliance, old age homes and sick community members who are dependent on the oxygen or other medical suffer. “Businesses and industries are forced to make extremely costly measures to keep operational.”
The DA is also accusing the municipality of having no ability to pay contractors come in weekly to do major repairs, and this leads to more delays of repairing faults. “The municipality is also resisting a proposal tables by Eskom in December last year, which would see revenue generated by the municipality being paid directly to Eskom, thereby cutting out the ANC middle-aged.”
The DA says that even the recent visit by the Deputy President of South Africa, David Mabuza to the municipality had no impact on service delivery and allegations of corruption by the African National Congress infighting.
The visit by the Deputy President was welcomed by the executive mayor of Maluti-a-Phofung, Masetjhaba Lakaje-Mosia to also seek help from the Deputy President regarding water and electricity issues.
According to the municipality of Maluti-a-Phofung, the visit by the Deputy President was informed by the commitment which he made during the question and answer session at the National Council of Provinces. “…part of the problems that he spoke about was in relation to Water and Sanitation and also electricity which also affects the operation of water treatment plants.”
Meanwhile, the municipality has recently released a statement to claim that there is an individual who is selling land in MAP areas claiming to hold a PTO of the land. “This is fraudulent. This is said to be happening at Lotuville Harrismith and has stopped in Qwaqwa,” said Municipal manager Mothamaha.