Dispute over Underberg water shortage

2016-01-22 06:00

HARRY Gwala District Municipality has described the statement of Democratic Alliance calling MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube to intervene in Harry Gwala District Municipality as disingenuous and misleading.

This after Underberg and surrounding areas had no water on Monday.

“This was not caused by the drought challenges facing our province, but by the alleged non-payment of the Eskom electricity account by the municipality,” said DA provincial finance spokesperson Francois Rodgers.

He said that Eskom have thus disconnected electricity services to the district.

Rodgers said the situation in the town is dire as the hospital is without water and unable to perform any medical procedures.

“All of this because the ANC-led district municipality appears unable to meet its financial commitments,” said Rodgers.

Harry Gwala Municipality spokesperson Ndabezitha Tenza denied this, saying the outage was because of a confusion caused by Eskom.

“The electricity bill was paid punctually on 15 January. The money was transferred from one FNB [account] to another FNB by EFT, which indicates that it cleared immediately. The municipality owes Eskom nothing,” said Tenza.

He said Eskom needs to reverse the interest rate that the municipality was overcharged by Eskom.

“The DA’s statement that Harry Gwala is unable to meet its financial commitments is disingenuous and misleading. It is just a campaign strategy for the upcoming elections,” said Tenza.

He further said the management of Harry Gwala has on numerous occasions sat with Eskom in meetings to ensure there is a smooth flow of electricity.

“This shall continue to ensure that service delivery is enhanced and that there are no challenges in delivering the needs of people.”

Eskom could not reached for comment at the time of going to press. - Supplied.

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