by Andrew Louw – DA Provincial Leader in the Northern Cape
Date: 31 January 2018
Type: Press Statement
The Democratic Alliance has made an urgent call to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements & Traditional Affairs to request an oversight visit from the committee to the Nama-Khoi Local Municipality as soon as the legislature begins its work.
It is becoming self-evident that the Nama-Khoi municipality cannot sustain itself and that the local economy will be severely constrained in the coming months.
As of December 2017, the municipality owes R100.358 million to Sedibeng Water, excluding its current accounts. Further debts of more than R70 million is owed to Eskom.
The money to pay back these creditors is not going to materialise overnight in the municipal budget.
The municipality entered the current financial year with an operating deficit of R60.5 million and unfunded mandates totalling R174.4 million, while the overdraft is already projected to exceed R25 million at the end of the financial year.
Any repayment agreement it enters into with its creditors will have to be scrutinised carefully, as the municipality has already become notorious for failing to honour the terms of its payment agreements with Eskom.
While debts to bulk suppliers mount, residents are facing ongoing threats of electricity and water cuts.
The impact of these threats on the local economy cannot be overestimated, with local businesses already suffering from the municipality’s poor administration. We have seen from recent electricity cuts in the Thembelihle and Ubuntu municipalities that tourists are also disgruntled when they have no access to water or electricity.
Tourism is a potential driver of growth for the Nama-Khoi municipality, especially when it is time for hunting or viewing the beautiful flowers, but who will flock to experience bulk disconnections?
It is grossly unfair to expect that residents must bear the brunt of any municipality’s failure to meet its own financial obligations.
We look forward to engaging with the Portfolio Committee and the municipality to find a workable, sustainable solution.
DA Provincial Leader in the Northern Cape
082 383 6914
071 251 5558