While a serious crisis is threatening the sustainability of the Newcastle Municipality, managerial matters and decision-making processes have basically come to a complete standstill as ANC factions are busy with infighting at the expense of the town and its residents.
Executive managerial posts are not being filled and in the FF Plus’s opinion, it is clear that all processes have been forced to come to a halt by the various factions seeing as the posts that must be filled bring with them power and money as well as contracts and the associated benefits.
The town’s former mayor, councillor Makhosini Nkosi, resigned at the beginning of the year already as he was apparently not up to dealing with the ructions and the mismanagement in the Municipality.
Since then, the Municipality and the council have been plunged into absolute chaos. The municipal manager, Mr Errol Mswani, and the council are currently also involved in a legal battle about allegations of financial irregularities while the new mayor, Mr Ntuthuko Mahlaba, is neglecting to do his official duties and was even accused of murder a few months ago.
The deputy mayor and the council’s speaker, both members of the ANC, were sent to Parliament after the recent general elections, but their posts have not yet been filled.
The Municipality’s dire financial state is striking proof of the fact that the Municipality’s monthly expenses exceed its income with about R30 million. Its debt to Eskom amounts to more than R270 million.
Water wastage in the informal residential areas has gotten totally out of control and it is estimated that more water is wasted in these informal areas per day than what is used in the traditional residential areas per month. It means that the water that the Municipality purchases from Tugela Water is wasted and the Municipality is not getting paid for it.
With regard to power, water and services, the payments made by the informal or eastern wards make up as little as 5% with an average of 28% of the services being consumed by these wards. In contrast, the town’s five wards’ payments for services equal 96% to 98%.
What is particularly disturbing is that no attention is paid to the remedial recommendations that the Auditor-General (AG) made in previous years and there have also been no consequences for this.
The FF Plus will continue to cooperate with other opposition parties and will keep fighting to prevent the town from going to utter ruin. We will do everything in our power to let the ANC know that the town is doomed if the situation is not turned around as soon as possible.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Lourie Bosman on FF Plus
South Africa Today – South Africa News