Johannesburg – The newly elected Matjhabeng mayor Thanduxolo Khalipa has threatened to shut off water and electricity to communities that failed to settle their long-standing debts.
Khalipa who was sworn-in just three weeks ago, came to the office with guns blazing promising to change catastrophe of how services should be rendered within the ailing municipality that has dwelt in pool of hurdles.
This comes after several areas in the Matjhabeng and Nala municipalities stayed for days without access to water.
Residents had to endure eight days without water supply in their areas.
Previously, Matjhabeng municipality accused Sedibeng Water of terminating the supply without following due processes.
The cash-strapped municipality said, it had a serious damage to infrastructure due to burst pipes as a result of pressure fluctuations caused by Sedibeng.
However, the newly elected mayor has now added that Matjhabeng’s predicaments could be attributed to the long-unsettled debts for years.
Previous reports indicated that the municipality, which incorporates of five townships owes Sedibeng Water over R4.4 billion.
While speaking to Lesedi FM, Khalipa addressed that although the municipality only secured to settle R25 million to honour Sedibeng debt, the municipality still faces a turmoil as citizens have not paid their bills for years.
“People are not paying what we are supposed to be collecting, and for this reason we are not able to pay Sedibeng Water, hence now we will start to cut off water to some specific wards,” said Khalipa.
The mayor also added that Eskom is still owed by the municipality, and the municipality has taken a harsh stint to cut off power to residents who failed to settle their bills.
Eskom has been in court disputes with the ailing municipality over outstanding debt for years.
Khalipa addressed that the national inter-ministerial task team, that incorporates of CoGTA and Water department will visit the municipality to discuss challenges facing the municipality.