THE residents of Rosmead, a small erstwhile railway village outside Middelburg, have been without electricity for almost a week.
According to Retief Odendaal, MPL and EC Midlands Constituency Leader, it is as a result of the unwillingness of the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality (IYM) to pay monies owed to Transnet for electricity consumption prior to running its payroll, out of fear that there will be insufficient funds to cover salaries for the month of August.
IYM, an Eastern Cape municipality which includes the towns of Cradock and Middelburg, has been experiencing massive financial challenges over the past number of years. The municipality had a negative cash flow at the end of the 2019/20 financial year and is factually bankrupt.
“The beleaguered municipality already owes Eskom some R216 million in unpaid electricity charges. Transnet is just another one of its creditors that decided they can no longer bankroll this dysfunctional municipality,” said Odendaal.
IYM acquired Rosmead from Transnet a couple of years ago but has to date failed to finalise the transfer processes. As a result, Transnet is still responsible for the payment of the electricity account to Eskom.
“IYM has to foot the electricity bill as almost all the residents in Rosmead are indigent. Unfortunately, IYM has not been paying Transnet, which is now owed an amount of R740 000 and fed-up with the non-payment by the municipality.
“IYM has over the past couple of months struggled to pay the salaries of its officials. Insiders acknowledged that they received strict instructions not to pay any creditors before the payroll run yesterday (25 August).
“I will now write to the Eastern Cape MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Xolile Nqatha, as well as Transnet, to intervene and alleviate the plight of the long-suffering people of Rosmead,” said Odendaal.
- ISSUED: DA EC