Ricochet News

Residents in Free State municipality without water & electricity since Monday

Jul 20, 2017
Residents in Free State municipality without water & electricity since Monday

The communities of Brandfort and Winburg continue to suffer under the yoke of poor African National Congress (ANC) governance, the Democratic Alliance (DA) claimed on Thursday.

"A section of Brandfort has been without electricity since Monday, negatively affecting local businesses and households while Winburg has yet again had no water supply. Both incidents reportedly due to technical issues," described George Michalakis MP - DA Constituency Head for the Masilonyana, Tokologo and Tswelopele Local Municipalities.

"The DA has been in contact with the MEC for Finance, Elzabe Rockman, requesting her to intervene. We have been informed that repairs are being brought on ageing infrastructure and that the delay in restoring electricity supply is due to a specific part that had to be ordered in from outside the province.

"Once electricity supply is restored normal water supply will resume shortly thereafter."

Michalakis said that this incident highlights the failure of the ANC government to ensure effective maintenance and the replacement of old infrastructure.

"The Masilonayana Local Municipality was placed under section 139(1)(b) administration by the ANC Free State Provincial Government in an attempt to rectify the poor governance of the ANC local council, which saw the deterioration in the municipality’s financial situation.

"The council is unable to pay suppliers. Failure to pay service providers on time severely hampers service delivery and puts a stop to the maintenance of critical infrastructure," he added.

"Since the municipality is currently under administration by the provincial government, it is the provincial government that is now ultimately responsible to ensure that service delivery does not come to a halt, as is currently the case.

"The municipality reportedly owes in excess of R13 million to creditors over and above its debt to Eskom of more than R33 million. There have also been attempts by the Sheriff to attach and auction off some of the municipality's moveable assets in a sale of execution of a court order in recent months."

Michalakis  said that the ANC has, like in the Mafube Local Municipality, where chaos recently broke out, led Masilonyana into a financial mess that the ANC can't get out of.

"The result is that ordinary citizens are left suffering most due to the non-delivery of basic services.

"This once again goes to show that the ANC in government cannot and will not ever be able to solve the problems they have created. This notwithstanding, the DA calls on the provincial government to do its job by ensuring that these services are restored without further delay, as is their constitutional mandate," he added.