Msunduzi disconnects the legislature’s electricity

2013-10-12 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality has no mercy on people or organisations that are in arrears on their electricity.

And this extends to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, which had its power disconnected yesterday morning after being found to be in arrears.

Msunduzi municipality manager Mxolisi Nkosi said they would shut down the power to all those in arrears with their electricity accounts. He said the legislature owed the council money, but was not sure how much, and referred all questions to the chief financial officer, Nelly Ngcobo.

Ngcobo said they should not have shut down the electricity at the legislature because there was a query on the matter.

“I issued an instruction to have the power restored, which was done at about 1 pm, after having a meeting with the officials from the legislature,” she said.

Ngcobo said she did not know how much the legislature owned the municipality or the figure that was in dispute.

DA MPP Sizwe Mchunu said the DA was deeply disturbed following allegations that the provincial parliament has had its electricity disconnected twice in recent times after failing to pay its electricity bill.

Mchunu said although the legislature’s members and staff would be able to continue working, due to the back-up generator, the allegations remain alarming and “are a very poor reflection against the legislature as the province’s chief law-making body”.

He said Msunduzi municipality had only recently begun to claw its way back after being placed under administration.

“One of the main crises still affecting the municipality is debt collection for services. That the legislature would further jeopardise the municipality’s recovery by failing to pay its bill on time is shocking and sets a very poor example to ratepayers,” said Mchunu.

The DA called KZN speaker Lydia Johnson to immediately clarify whether the claims were indeed true.

“If so, we expect a full explanation as to how this situation has been allowed to occur,” said Mchunu.

Attempts to get a response from the legislature were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

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