By Rebone Motlhokwane
The Rand West City Local Municipality in Gauteng is pleading with residents to pay municipal services to avoid a complete shutdown of municipal services.
This is after the municipality issued a statement saying their bank account has been attached due to amounts owing to Eskom. This means the municipality has to make an arrangement with the Eskom lawyers on how they are going to pay, if this is not done, Eskom has the power to auction the municipality and pay the debt with that money.
In the statement, the municipality said if residents continue to not pay, it would wrack havoc. “The attachment of the account will impact negatively into the day-to-day running of the municipality, services to the community will be impacted negatively. Municipal staff will also be impacted.”
But some residents are not moved by this plea.
Rapule Mokobane, a community member in Mohlakeng said, people do not pay because they of disagreements caused by the merging of Randfontein and Westonaria local municipalities.
“We had a better life before this merge, I thought this would help us eliminate the debts that the municipality has, but now there are squatter camps that affect us because they get free services,” said Mokobane. He also said the local hostels and Zenzele, an informal settlement in Mohlakeng, is not treated the same as the rest of the community.
Mokobane told fray.news that community members had previously met with the mayor twice to negotiate on how people can pay the municipality.
“We had a meeting with the mayor to negotiate how people can pay and suggested that every household must pay R200,” said Mokobane.
Nothing came out of those discussions.
Tebogo Madibo said he doesn’t pay because he feels that he does not get the services that he asks for.
“Our dustbins are not taken on time…, the sewer always bursts, and when they clean it, they do not disinfect the area,” said Madibo.
The municipality had received qualified audits for the previous two years, meaning that the Auditor General was not happy about the financial statements given out by the municipality, which could be caused by many possibilities such as errors or fraud.