The new KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka is moving swiftly to prevent Eskom-imposed power cuts in debt-laden municipalities by engaging directly with the power utility and one affected municipality that is facing an imminent electricity switch-off.
“As a department that oversees municipalities, we are intervening in the matter of imminent electricity switch-offs in municipalities by facilitating an urgent meeting with Eskom and the affected municipalities to find solutions that will satisfy the power utility and keep the lights on at Mpofana,” said Hlomuka.
KZN Cogta is also urging municipalities to improve their revenue enhancement strategies to prevent recurring stand-offs with Eskom. Municipal residents are likewise urged to honour their civic duties and pay for municipal services which include provision of electricity.
“It is clear that our municipalities cannot continue to provide services unless they collect revenue from those who benefit from these services. This is a matter of civic conscience on the part of municipal residents and a matter of sound revenue management on the part of municipalities,” said Hlomuka.
“We are also urging residents to play their part of the bargain and pay for electricity services. Municipalities purchase electricity from the power utility – Eskom. This, in turn, requires that residents must pay for the electricity they use. We appeal to those who are defaulting to mend their ways before drastic actions are taken against them. There will be serious repercussions for those found to be deliberately defaulting on their electricity accounts,” said Hlomuka.
The province has embarked on the path of directing investments and growing the local economies in municipalities so that we can create jobs. “Any looming power cut is a threat to investment and indeed job creation. We must all pull together and help to grow KZN into a better province. I appeal to all those who owe for electricity in Mpofana to address their accounts arrears and negotiate payment terms speedily,” said Hlomuka.
For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403