The ANC-led Matlosana municipality celebrated its first year in office while the municipality is on the verge of collapse and service delivery continues to deteriorate. This celebration is a slap in the face of residents.
Matlosana Executive Mayor, James Tsolela, made promises of a fresh start at his election, but vanished like the proverbial mist before the sun shortly after. The promised strategic planning meeting, where each Councillor would make contributions towards a fresh start in Matlosana, was never held, which clearly indicates the persistent failures in governance, financial management and service delivery.
The bulk Eskom and Midvaal Water debt recorded an increase of R820 million from R1,85 billion to R2,67 billion.
Over the last three months, the municipality could only afford to pay 3% of its bulk water and electricity purchases.
Household debt grew from R5,83 billion to R7,08 billion. This represents a R1,25 billion increase with no apparent effort to end the culture of non-payment for municipal services.
Various national and provincial government departments and institutions now owe Matlosana more than R202 million in debt, up from R133 million.
Out of the five main sources of income, water, electricity, sanitation, refuse collection, and assessment rates—only assessment rates had an upward curve.
This vindicates the DA’s position on the concerns expressed on an unfunded municipal budget.
Matlosana has also failed to bill residents and businesses on time over the last two months conveniently blaming loadshedding instead of accepting responsibility of its own incompetence.
The effects of this awful financial downturn are being felt by all residents.
The residents of Freemanville, Roosheuwl, Elandsheuvel, Songload, Elandi, and Declercville, have been experiencing water supply shortages for more than five days. There are several causes for this, including the lack of water infrastructure maintenance which causes constant pipe bursts.
Service delivery is being severely hampered by a scarcity of tools and spare parts, a labour force lacking in the necessary skills, a lack of telemetric and control instrumentation systems, and other factors.
It is quite evident that Matlosana’s finances have been completely mismanaged by the ANC in government, and that the administration is unable to adhere to the provisions of the Municipal Finance Management Act.
The DA will write to National Treasury requesting an investigation into the municipality’s financial mismanagement and to take legal action against any delinquent officials who have been found to be in violation of the MFMA.
It is time for the ANC government to prioritize the needs of residents rather than focusing on how they might bend and break the rules to benefit themselves and their fellow cadres.