SALGA wants water network exempt from load shedding

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) says it will soon approach the Electricity Ministry to urge that critical service delivery properties be exempted from load shedding. The SALGA NEC made the remarks following a two-day meeting with the 22 North West municipalities, in Rustenburg. It wants the likes of reservoirs and water treatment plants to be exempted from the load shedding schedules, arguing that this affects water provision and sanitation services badly.

It was a meeting to discuss challenges faced by municipalities and how they could be strengthened.

“The important part is this one, how do we protect the electricity allocation so that communities cannot suffer the difficulties, that is the discussion that we going to have with the minister in the coming days. That is what we are trying to put on the table that you can, if our systems are functional, you can reinforce an area that should be declared as important area such as reservoirs and other areas that had significant and negative impact to communities’ lives,” says Bheki Stofile, President for SALGA.

“Your water treatment plants in particular must be exempted from load shedding and what Eskom needs to do is that the municipality must apply and once the municipality has applied, they will respond positively. The majority of our municipalities have done so, some of them have been exempted, others Eskom is still working on it, others Eskom has raised an important issue which we are working on it,” says Nono Maloyi, MEC COGHSTA NW.

While they ask for exemption from load shedding schedule, they also acknowledge that municipalities owe Eskom billions of rands.

“Four hundred billion rand is owed to Eskom, 10 percent of that R400 billion rand is owed by those municipalities. R290 billion is owed to municipalities by government, business and households. Now what we have done is that, look it is important for us to work in a manner in which it addresses challenges in municipal system and in government in terms of paying,” Stofile adds.

“Our municipalities owe Eskom between four to five billion in the North West. What we have done, most of our departments are owing municipalities, I have raised this matter in the executive council and I said each department that owes municipality must pay and we started that process. We asked municipalities to submit bills to all these departments and they have done so. The first municipality that almost got into trouble was Matlosana which owes Eskom R1.6 billion,” Maloyi added.