Embattled Emfuleni Municipality has a new administrator: Maile

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Gauteng Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Lebogang Maile, says the team that was appointed to administer the Emfuleni Municipality showed little progress and had to be replaced.

The municipality was put under administration in 2018 following a R1-million irregular expenditure bill. It also owes Eskom R2.7-billion.

Maile says the Emfuleni Local Municipality has reached a payment agreement with Rand Water – one of the municipality’s largest creditors. The municipality is drowning in debt of around R4.6-billion, with most of the money owed to Eskom and Rand Water.

The Gauteng Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has given an update on developments at the embattled municipality.

“Rand Water further advised the municipality to continue paying its current account and ensure that it is up to date with the payment. With regards to the amount in arrears, rand water is prepared to negotiate with the municipality on how to pay that off. The administrators also had a positive meeting with the CEO of Eskom and his senior management team. The municipality was encouraged to continue to pay its current account, the recurring account arrears can be negotiated at a later stage,” says Maile.

Council owes Rand Water nearly R100-million

Poor service delivery

For years, issues of poor service delivery have frustrated residents, who at times took to the streets to voice their demands.

Maile says his department is committed to improving infrastructure and service delivery. However, it does not come cheap. Some of these projects include the refurbishment of roads and stormwater drainage systems which cost over R170 million. R53 million is needed for waste collection and over R50 million to unblock sewer bulk lines.

Maile says his department will be keeping tabs on the progress made by the municipality, to ensure that those involved in the degradation of the municipality are held accountable

“There are several forensic reports that have been produced in the last four years, including one by the auditor general. There have been delays by the municipality in ensuring they hold the managers responsible accountable. there are also cases that have been open and we will also be following up on that,” says Maile.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Vaal says the wheels are turning too slowly.

“As the DA we feel like MEC Maile is not doing enough to turn around things in Emfuleni. We are disappointed that even with the administrators in Emfuleni the situation is not improving. The reason for this is that the MEC is not deploying capable candidates but caders who do not care. This situation in Emfuleni continues to limp from one disaster to another. Our towns and townships are in a sorry state and no action is taken,” says DA’s Kinsol Chabalala.

The department is adamant that work-streams are in place to ensure that there is a coherent and properly co-ordinated implementation of the rollout of the Financial Recovery Plan for the municipality.

Residents of Emfuleni Local Municipality raising their concerns