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Ongoing water woes in Gamagara municipality are being exacerbated under the ANC/EFF local government.
Residents of Deben were left without water for over a week following Gamagara’s failure to pay its full monthly Eskom account. The disconnection had a direct impact on the municipal pump, halting water supply.
An arrangement was made over the weekend to restore power to the pumps and effectively water provision. The municipality’s account remains in arrears of over R400 million.
Under the DA mayorship, I gave a special instruction on 3 August at an Exco meeting for the municipality to honour the monthly payment agreement with Eskom. Three days later I was removed in a Motion of No Confidence (MONC). My instruction was repeatedly defied and Eskom was short paid.
Instability caused by a second MONC, enabled further non-adherence to the Eskom payment agreement, which is not a priority for the ANC/EFF local government. Despite the Deben community being left without water, it took them five days to address the matter.
This is little wonder given that the previous ANC mayor owes Gamagara over R20 000 on his personal rates and taxes account, the current mayors owe R24 000 and the Deben Ward Councillor owes R54 000. Recovery of such debt could help pay Eskom its dues?
The unlawfully elected EFF Speaker is also apparently preparing to move into the ruined mayoral house. This will come at an unbudgeted cost to the municipality. That this move is going ahead, indicates that the Municipal Manager is willing to approve a payment deviation. When the sustainable provision of water is at stake, however, he will not consider a payment deviation to address a crisis.
In respect of the Olifantshoek water crisis, the DA immediately saw to it that the biggest borehole was repaired, when we took over the mayorship. Due to loadshedding, the pumps could not pump enough water. I instructed the MM to purchase a generator in order to keep the pumps on, but he claimed not to support the perfectly justifiable payment deviation. This water crisis is ongoing.
It is increasingly obvious that water is not a priority for the ANC/EFF Gamagara local government.
The DA will submit a motion regarding the implementation of consequence management to boost debt recovery and to address the breach of the Code of Conduct for Councillors in respect of outstanding debt owed to the municipality. We are also pushing for the finance committee meeting to discuss the Eskom non-payment.
The DA is due back in court next week for our application for an interdict against the second unlawful Motion of No Confidence (MONC) against myself and the Gamagara Community Forum Speaker (GCF), Shephard Mines. We will continue to fight to take back power of Gamagara, so that we can work towards ensuring a sustainable supply of power and water to residents.
Issued by Henriette du Plessis, Cllr - Gamagara Municipality