DA fights pre-paid meters

2012-11-12 00:00

THE Democratic Alliance in KwaZulu-Natal has called on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube to immediately halt Msunduzi Municipality’s plan to install pre-paid meters.

This follows a decision by full council two weeks ago to approve plans for the installation of pre-paid meters to all households under the municipality’s jurisdiction.

DA spokesperson on Cogta MPP George Mari said there were several good reasons why the installation of pre-paid meters should not be forced upon the people of Msunduzi.

There has not been a thorough public consultative process. “Prepaid electricity is more expensive than a standard electricity supply.

“Informal settlement dwellers will not be able to afford prepaid electricity,” he said.

Another reason for the DA’s opposition to the plan was that the pre-paid meters currently used were not tamper-proof, which would lead to massive theft of electricity.

Mari said during last week’s full council meeting that the DA opposed the manner in which the ruling party was going about the implementation of pre-paid meters, in particular the failure to consult the public.

“In bulldozing ahead with this scheme, we believe that these councillors have reneged on their oversight role, allowing themselves to be dictated to by officials,” he said.

He believed residents should be free to choose how they received this service.

“We expect the MEC to suspend plans to go ahead with the compulsory installation of pre-paid meters until such time that the above issues are addressed,” said Mari.

He stressed that should the MEC and the Msunduzi council disregard the DA’s concerns, “we will take action to have the decision overturned”.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma refused to comment, saying that since the statement was made by a political party, the ruling party should be asked to respond.

Cogta spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said it would be difficult to comment on a request that the MEC had not yet seen.

“Once it has been brought to the MEC, then we will be able to comment,” said Mabaso.

— Witness Reporter.

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