News24.com | ANC burns tyres outside Rand Water over attachment of Emfuleni bank account

10 months ago 287

 Ntwaagae Seleka via Twitter)

Members on the ANC burning tyres. (Screenshot: Ntwaagae Seleka via Twitter)

  • The ANC in Sedibeng staged protests outside Rand Water premises giving the water entity seven days to respond to their demands.
  • The party complained that the attachment of Emfuleni municipal bank accounts hampered service delivery and late payments of salaries.
  • Emfuleni owes Rand Water and Eskom around R2 billion. 

The ANC in Sedibeng has given Rand Water seven days to “release” the embattled Emfuleni municipal bank account or face revolt.

Party members staged protests outside the water entity's premises in Vereeniging, chanting slogans before handing in their memorandum.

They later set tyres alight at the main gate preventing cars from accessing and leaving the premises.

Rand Water attached the bank account after the municipality failed to settle its more than R1 billion debt.

In November, Eskom had also been granted an order to attach R1.3 billion of Emfuleni municipality’s assets for its "continued failure" to settle its accounts and arrears with the power utility.

ANC regional spokesperson Velile Mkhontwana acknowledged that Emfuleni owed Rand Water over R1 billion.

The ANC Sedibeng has given Rand Water seven days to release the Emfuleni municipal bank account or face more protests. The party claimed the attachment of the municipal bank affected service delivery and late payments of salaries @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/rMiOb0nAer

— ntwaagae Seleka (@ntwaagae) June 23, 2023

“We are here to register our anger with Rand Water in how they treat us as the ANC, the people of Sedibeng and Emfuleni in particular. Rand Water has been attaching Emfuleni's account since 2020. We don't have a problem with Rand Water applying its debt management mechanisms.

“The problem is the attachment of the account sporadically. Engagements have been made with them, including the provincial and national governments. To this extent, Rand Water hasn't been budging in entering into any plan with the municipality,” said Mkhontwana.

The ANC claimed that infrastructure defects and the collection of payments by the municipality hampered the municipality from honouring its bill.

READ | Emfuleni fails to pay salaries for January, political parties say

Other challenges included a vast water loss and high unemployment rates in Sedibeng.

“Our residents cannot pay their rates and taxes, forcing Emfuleni to run at a loss. We have over 43% of our population [who are] unemployed. The infrastructure used to supply water belongs to Emfuleni. The only challenge Emfuleni faces is financing to look after its infrastructure.

“Rand Water should be helping the municipality to refurbish the infrastructure. We have sewer and water running down our streets and other infrastructural challenges, yet Rand Water attaches Emfuleni's account.”

Mkhontwana added that Rand Water should develop amicable solutions to assist the battling municipality.

Salaries

“For the past two months, the municipality struggled to pay workers' salaries on time. They were only paid through an arrangement with people who attached its account. They only released the salary bill to pay employees. 

“This is the ANC-led municipality. We feel people of Emfuleni's human rights are being trampled upon. We can't fold our arms and say things are fine when they are not. People should get what is due to them,” said Mkhontwana.

ANC Sedibeng members have complained that the attachment of Emfuleni municipal account by Rand Water has led to the municipality failing to pay UIF, medical aid and other benefits. They are demonstrating outside Rand Water offices in Vereeniging @TeamNews24 pic.twitter.com/whLucjlx4b

— ntwaagae Seleka (@ntwaagae) June 23, 2023

The party believed that the relationship between Emfuleni and Rand Water was unhealthy, and it entered the fray to intervene.

Mkhontwana said: “We express our disgust [at] Rand Water and Eskom. The[y] interchangeable attach the account [sic]. This is not the way to do things. Emfuleni is not running. It is part of the government. They need to sit and come down with amicable solutions.

"Regarding Eskom, we have structural defects, theft and vandalism of their (Eskom) infrastructure. They are applying draconian measures to recoup their finances. All they are worried about is their bonuses. They are worried about the bottom line, not about the lives of our people," Mkhontwana.

Rand Water promised to respond after its board deliberated on the ANC’s memorandum.


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