NW municipalities must pay power, water bills

2010-02-12 12:12

MUNICIPALITIES in the North West must immediately pay their water

and electricity bills, premier Maureen Modiselle said today.

The provincial government said Modiselle wanted municipalities to

pay Eskom, Rand Water, Botshelo Water and Sedibeng Water “as a matter of

urgency”.

“All three water boards and Eskom have . . . indicated that

municipalities in the province are not paying for the water they are being

supplied with and then charge communities more and this, at times leads to water

shortages,” it said in a statement.

This followed a meeting between the premier and the three boards

and Eskom aimed at alleviating water shortages in the province.

Modiselle wanted to discuss how Eskom and the boards would help

government to alleviate these problems, in rural areas particularly.

SA Local Government Association deputy chairman in the province and

mayor of the Tlokwe Municipality, Maphetle Maphetle, said cash flow problems

were the main reason behind failure to make payments.

“This goes back to the lack of payment by communities,” he

said.

“It’s not only communities who don’t pay, it’s also government

departments who are provided with service by the municipalities.”

Another difficulty was the low budget municipalities had for

maintenance, leading to ailing, poorly maintained infrastructure.

This, in turn, led to leaking pipes and dripping taps, increasing

the repayments required.

The economic downturn and the job losses which accompanied last

year’s recession in the mining province also saw payments from customers

slowing, said Maphetle.

He said provincial government should realise that the North West

had many “poor municipalities” and even if you “go on top of a mountain and

shout”, it would be difficult to make required payments without help.


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