Millions of households could lose out on municipal services

By Drum Digital
13 May 2015

Great concern was expressed in Parliament over millions of households which could be without services due to a decision by Treasury to freeze funds to municipalities which owe money to Eskom.

This national grant to municipalities funds - among others - basic services. Municipalities with a small income base will be affected the most.

Fears have been expressed about municipalities salaries and money budgeted for services will have to use to settle debts.

The Treasury earlier in a notice took the decision to freeze funds of 59 municipalities.

It was reported earlier that municipalities owed Eskom and water supplies approximately R12.6bn.

The ANC on Wednesday morning asked in the select committee on finance for a political solution and requested that the ministers of finance and co-operative governance intervene.

This while the South African local government agency, Salga, sought a legal opinion and on Wednesday formally informed the Treasury that it will challenge the decision.

ANC MP Consolation (Tekoetsile) Motlashuping said it was about much-needed services to the poor.

"Let us call the minister and have the decision immediately annulled. A political solution is needed now. "

Other MPs such as the DA's Elsa van Lingen were less keen and said when money is owed and nothing is done to incur debt agreements, it must be addressed.


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