by Melinda Hattingh MPL – DA Constituency Head for the Kalahari
Date: 03 March 2017
Type: Press Statement
The Democratic Alliance has instructed legal advisers to initiate legal proceedings against the Gamagra Local
We are seeking urgent relief for the consumers who have been left without electricity since the 1st of March due
to the ANC-led municipality’s utter incompetence and uncaring governance.
It is absolutely unacceptable that residents must now bear the brunt of another ANC-made emergency.
On short notice, the municipality decided to terminate its contract with its supplier of prepaid electricity to external
vendors and award it to a new supplier. One of the challenges with the new supplier is that a large number of
residents in Kathu and Mapoteng have electricity meters which are not compatible with the new supplier’s system
and needs to be replaced.
While the municipality mistakenly assumed that only 250 households would be affected, more than a thousand
households are actually affected. As of midnight on the 28th of February, the affected households whose meters
have not been replaced were unable to buy prepaid electricity. As a result, hundreds of households and
businesses have been left in the dark.
It is a crisis that the ANC-led municipality has been unwilling to resolve.
In February 2017, the municipality made a half-hearted attempt to replace the necessary electricity meters. No
official communication was sent to residents to inform them that a contractor would be arriving at their homes, yet
they were expected to open their doors to a complete stranger. And because the municipality miscalculated the
number of affected households, the contractor ran out of stock to replace the electricity meters.
In countless interactions with the mayor, the chief financial officer and the municipal manager, our councillors
raised concerns on the inept management of the transition between suppliers. Instead of heeding our warnings,
the ANC cadres told our councillors not to interfere with the administration. They decided to steamroll a process
which they knew would not work.
Our councillors made proposals to ease the transition and to ensure that residents have access to electricity, but
these proposals were met with arrogance and contempt for the consumers.
We will hold the ANC-led administration accountable for their wrongdoing.
Melinda Hattingh MPL
DA Constituency Head for the Kalahari
082 494 6648
071 251 5558