The City of Mbombela in Mpumalanga says that it’s losing close to R30 million every month as a result of load shedding and reduction in supply by Eskom.
Load shedding and power reduction has been identified as some of the contributing factors for the city’s declining revenue collections. The city also raised concerns about communities that are failing to pay their property rates.
Eskom has implemented load shedding and electricity reduction in many parts of Mbombela in Mpumalanga. The City of Mbombela says this move has affected the provision of services such as water supply to most communities across the municipality.
The city has also raised concerns about the damage to infrastructure amounting to millions of rand caused by the ongoing load shedding. Some of the business people in Mbombela say this is affecting their businesses.
A shop manager in Kanyamazane, Siboniso Mahlalela, says load shedding has impacted their business drastically.
“Customers can’t walk in check, whatever they want, even the medicine is expiring fast and everyday we encounter expired stuff because of the load shedding. It is very hot in Mpumalanga.”
Some of the businesses have opted to use generators while there’s load shedding. This means spending more to keep their businesses running.
The City of Mbombela owes Eskom R1.2 billon.
City Manager Wiseman Khumalo says they are engaging with Eskom regarding the debt.
“We are close to R30 million a month, which is a situation not unacceptable to all of us and above all that, the on-off when when our substations are being load shedding, it is also affecting our infrastructure. The city has a budget of R44 million for emergency maintenance for planned and emergency maintenance for the current financial year for electrical infrastructure. It should be noted that it’s unplanned blackout will be claimed against the insurance.”
Electricity problems are not the only challenges facing the municipality. Potholes and waste collection have also been highlighted.
A resident, Stanley Mokaya, says because the city is unable to fix potholes, and as a result, their vehicles are damaged on a daily basis..
“Government is supposed to assist us by putting the tarred road which is bigger than this one. The thin one is just giving us problems because we are having these small cars.”
City Of Mbombela’s Executive Mayor, Sibongile Makhushe, says roads, waste removal and the provision of water are among the top priorities for this financial year.
“First priority is water supply and sanitation, second roads infrastructure development, storm water and the third is the electricity supply and management.”
Meanwhile, there are plans for the City of Mbombela to partner with Eskom to collect revenue from households who are defaulting on their municipal accounts.
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