Powerful minister has R35 000 power bill

2011-02-06 22:53

Cape Town – Sicelo Shiceka, minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs, owes the Johannesburg municipality in the region of R35 000, but it’s unclear whether his water and electricity have been cut off, as was the case with 16 000 other residents.

Vuyelwa Vika, Shiceka’s spokesperson, said on Sunday she doesn’t know what the situation is at the minister’s private home in Midrand.

Shiceka didn’t answer his cellphone, and neither Kgamanyane Maphologela, Johannesburg’s municipal spokesperson for income and client services, nor Amos Masondo, mayor, nor the Gauteng premier’s office were able to answer this question.

“The minister would like to pay his municipal account, but he’s not going to pay thousands of rands for something that cannot be explained,” Vika said.

According to her, Shiceka is yet another victim of the municipality’s chaotic accounts system and “it’s been going on like that for years”.

He first queried an exorbitant municipal account in 2008. The situation hasn’t changed over the past three years.

“At that stage he hardly spent two days per week at his house, but received accounts which the municipality could not explain. He thought someone was illegally tapping his electricity.”

Account keeps increasing

The municipality said it would investigate, but to date the minister hasn’t heard anything about the matter.

Shiceka has since moved to a ministerial residence in Pretoria.

“His house in Midrand is empty, but the account keeps increasing. He wants an explanation before he pays,” Vika said.

The electricity of many residents’ with similar, faulty municipal accounts has been cut off since January 1.

Shiceka stepped in last week and gave the Gauteng department of housing and local governance until February 18 to come up with a plan to solve Johannesburg’s problem with accounts.

He also wants to launch a national investigation into the accounts systems of all municipalities.

“Municipalities are so busy with accounts that service delivery is neglected,” Vika said.

The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Masondo sent a letter about Shiceka’s outstanding debt to Humphrey Mmemezi, Gauteng MEC for housing and local governance, as well as Nomvula Mokonyane, premier of Gauteng.

Spokespersons for Masondo and Mmemezi couldn’t confirm this on Sunday, but according to Vika it’s “a pity” that the focus is on the minister’s personal business while thousands of residents are being inconvenienced.

  • Ldn Saffa - 2011-02-06 23:12

    someone seriously needs to put this guy's lights out!!!

  • Pragmatist - 2011-02-07 00:09

    Didn't the memo get through.... PAY the full amount, then claim a refund!

      Ian - 2011-02-07 08:52

      He is the minister, that won't apply to him lol

  • Macho Mike - 2011-02-07 00:21

    Minister of co-operative governance and traditional affairs - WTF is this then Shiceka? You co-opreate usung traditional means of not paying for your services of water and electricity, so your affairs are not in line with governance. Same old story - poer and greed goes to the heads of these clueless ministers. His should pay a fine equal to his unpaid bill. Africa's National Circus roll's on...............

      croix - 2011-02-07 08:06

      They are in fact so clueless that they each need a "spokesperson" - just so as to 'ensho' they don't make complete a-holes of themselves! And then Vika says the: "municipalities are so busy with accounts that service delivery is neglected" - BWAAAAAAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHA ...........! I nearly soiled my broeks when reading that!

  • GeorgeN1 - 2011-02-07 00:25

    Obviously too stupid to realise that he has to pay his bills

  • Francois - 2011-02-07 05:54

    Hey Amos, are all equal before the law? Cut his electricity and water, manje!

  • jaycee - 2011-02-07 06:17

    This situation in JHB is a real crisis. I personally know a home-owner who has sold his house but transfer to the new owner cannot be done until outstanding moneys to the municipality has been paid. The tragedy is this person sits with an account from the municipality, for R14000 , which he is financially not able to pay, apart from the fact that it is a gross error on the part of the municipality. Result? Ownership cannot be transferred and everything else in this deal has bogged down. And the incompetent city management tells the public this crisis can go on for the next two years. Pathetic. The ANC has created a hell on earth for law-abiding citizens in this country. Jo'burgers must show these clowns the door, by voting them out in the election.

  • Joe Bloggs - 2011-02-07 06:24

    would you or be allowed to run up a bill this high without being disconnected? I don't think so.

  • noitall - 2011-02-07 06:39

    Eish - Why must we pay - I dont understand. PLEEEEZ I can update this report for news24 - the power and water has not been cut off. Its is one of the maatjies that dont have to worry about law and order

  • aurora9 - 2011-02-07 06:55

    It is not about 'running up' a bill to this amount. It is about paying on average R1500 the SUDDENLY being slammed with a bill that it thousands and thousands more. I suggest banks make these types of mistakes with the bank accounts of those working in the billing department of City of Joburg...

      angie.taalman - 2011-02-07 09:27

      I heard about a guy in my old suburb who was charged a normal amount every month then one month he was suddenly charged in excess of a million rand for the street light on the pavement outside his house. The billing folks' answer? JUST pay the account in full and THEN they will look into the problem. How is that fair to anyone at all? Don't pay and they cut off your power, pay and they steal your money. I vote we all go with solar power and screw Eskom and their cronies

  • mike - 2011-02-07 06:58

    why should he pay ? as per Zuma the ANC are gods unto themselves in this country

  • AJ - 2011-02-07 07:03

    "The minister would like to pay his municipal account, but he’s not going to pay thousands of rands for something that cannot be explained,” Vika said" - Well, neither do we but that is not council policy is it? SO why the different treatment. Pay it and then sort it out and get your money back. Ha Ha.

  • Hardtalk - 2011-02-07 07:29

    One thing for sure; its going to get worse and worse and worse until we get rid of the rubbish running this country. Very soon now you will have the chance at the ballet box USE IT WISELY

  • Tomcat - 2011-02-07 07:37

    Bastards, these bastards cannot govern. bring back the old government please!!!

      Mariano Cast - 2011-04-17 11:49

      No, sir. The old government was no good. What we need is a government of people with integrity,sense of responsibility, etc.etc., be them white,black or grey.

  • Nico - 2011-02-07 07:59

    This country is a joke.............

  • Badnews - 2011-02-07 08:09

    Does this "clever" not understand that the rates and taxes are also part of the bill - seems nobody else sees it either. What a bunch of #@$%#$*&^%$#@. Read as you may.

  • Mikea - 2011-02-07 08:50

    Like the Man in the street can demand an explanation before he pays. I got cut off for R200-00. What a Joke!! These Ministers are just too thick to know. OOOOH sorry this is not a crisis. You bunch of Idiots.

  • Talitha Taljaard - 2011-02-07 09:32

    I would refuse to pay if the municipality was trying to charge me for something that I didn't use. How hard is it to just pass a credit on the account for the incorrect amount and issue a new account? I can't understand why the municipalities are in such a state! Oh... wait... I know. They hire people that can't do the work right!!!!

  • potevan - 2011-02-07 09:57

    Drill a a generator...become self sufficient...

  • Ederik - 2011-02-07 10:14

    Did the ANC not promise free water and electricity? Or was that just for themselves and their cronies?

  • Lone Ranger - 2011-02-07 10:28

    Wouldn't we ALL want an explaination before we pay! But no, it's PAY or we cut/won't reconnect!!! "NOOOOOO there is NO billing crisis!" CHOPS!!! ALL of them!

      Shadoz - 2011-02-07 15:45

      what the hell if i go to a shop and i buy a R100 compact disk. If the store should tell me that i must pay R1000 for it cause there point of sale says it is that much. but dnt worry pay it and u will be refunded. I would tell them to stick it so far up there A$$ . What the hell is the difference? How can they expect us as tax paying citizens who already pay for all there locations 2. 2 just cough up more.

  • bosegoos - 2011-02-07 11:49

    'The Minister's personal business' is also the taxpayers' business. He is in charge of all the local governments in SA. After querying his account in 2008 he has apparently not do much to rectify the situation. As the most powerful man when it comes to local authorities, how can he expect the ordinary tax payer to act otherwise? He is supposed to set the example and by ignoring his responsibilities he is sending out the wrong message that it is fine to ignore municipal accounts that are questionnable. Now he is also speculating that somebody is tapping his electricity. I am sure this excuse will now be used by many others. He does not say if he has made interim payments on his account based on his estimated use. This should be the right thing to do.

  • Tembo - 2011-02-07 13:29

    Another corrupt minister

  • Andrew - 2011-02-07 14:03

    I just loooooove my generator :=D

  • JuluisMalema - 2011-02-07 15:15

    Hehehehehehe You wanted to vote for the ANC and wanted to become a minister. Pay back time. Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe Mchini-Wam Mchini-Wam Ha-ulethe

  • v3 - 2011-02-07 15:28

    Mr Minister, The ANC foul-up is a result of the policies and deployments *you* were part of pushing. "What goes around comes around" Isn't karma a bitch?

  • Shadoz - 2011-02-07 15:40

    This is why i am happy i live in the Western Cape. We accually have people that can run a working goverment. It really does sound like these poor people in JHB have a bunch of monkeys running there affairs. Guess old jz's hell is already here.

  • Other Justin - 2011-02-07 18:03

    Yip, like always, one law for normal SA citizens and no law for the ANC elite. Same old story...

  • Mariano Cast - 2011-04-17 11:47

    Amos Masondo has no clue as to what goes on around him. He thinks that Johannesburg is still the jewel of Africa.

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