The Northern Cape Business Chamber has lamented the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s outstanding debt to Eskom. The power utility says municipalities in the province owe it over R2.8-billion. The Kimberley-based municipality owes Eskom just over R470-million.
The chamber says it has tried to engage the municipality on the issue on numerous occasions. The chamber’s Sharon Steyn says this persistent problem will have a detrimental effect on business.
“Sol Plaatje is not taking into consideration what is happening to the city of Kimberley. The sooner this gets done and the sooner that Sol Plaatje Municipality realises that business wants to work with them. Business has proposals, we have options, we have suggestions we would like to discuss with the executive mayor of the Sol Plaatje Municipality, but unfortunately that we cannot even get an appointment with the executive mayor as the business chamber,” says Steyn.
Steyn says big companies and government institutions should be held accountable for their failure to pay their municipal bills.
“The culprits should be switched off, it’s as simple as that. That is how it works in the formal sector and that is how it’s supposed to be done, but it’s not happening. Let’s hold Sol Plaatje accountable if they are not going to do what is correct and I think that is what business is saying. Fair is fair. You cannot go and switch off an individual, who has not maybe paid for two months or whatever, but the big companies and the big corporates, the government departments why are they not paying? Sorry accountability is non-existable at Sol Plaatje Municipality,” Steyn explains.
VIDEO: Sol Plaatje municipality owed nearly 1.5 billion rand by residents and businesses: