First Council Sitting of the year Plunged into darkness
by Cllr Simon Lapping — DA Shadow MMC for Water, Energy and Sanitation in Ekurhuleni
Date: 1 February 2021
Type: Media Statement
The first Council sitting of the New Year which marked the return of councillors to perform their task of dealing with council issues, including the discussion of the Adjustment Budget, was delayed by an hour, as the electricity went off, without notice, in Germiston, yet again.
Germiston and surrounding areas have been plagued by regular power outages for over two years, with the failing ANC-led administration, seemingly, unable to rectify this critical problem.
Shockingly, once the council had managed to restart, with generators providing power to the OR Tambo Precinct, which houses the Germiston Council Chambers, the ANC appointed Executive Mayor, Cllr Mzwandile Masina, conceded that we are experiencing electricity woes in the ANC Coalition-led City of Ekurhuleni (CoE), but offered no sustainable solution to fix it.
It is clear to the Democratic Alliance (DA) finds that there is no political will from the ANC and its band of coalition partners to actually take responsibility, and fix the problem.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our economy, as the lockdown has largely curtailed economic activity. Even the ANC administration conceded that companies are not using as much electricity as they usually would, which has a negative effect on the revenue of the city.
Worryingly, that even while electricity usage is down, the failing ANC and its Coalition cannot supply a steady source of energy to paying residents and businesses. Under a caring DA administration, we would strive to ensure that the grid is stable and provide proper and regular hourly updates, to allow businesses to plan ahead, should there be an outage. This is something that the failing ANC administration cannot grasp.
This week alone, vast areas of Ekurhuleni have had no electricity for days on end with scant information provided by the Metro to residents or businesses.
The ANC Mayor claims that the Metro is compliant with all of National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s (NERSA) requirements regarding the distribution of electricity, but yet, continually refuses to employ 1600 electrical technicians as required, and expects 890 current staff to do the job. This is in flagrant contravention of standards set by NERSA.
It is clear that after 20 years of mismanagement under the ANC, the electrical infrastructure across the City is near a state of collapse. This is proof with the non-functional streetlights across the ANC-led City.
The DA continues to pressure the ANC and its Coalition partners into providing services for the residents of Ekurhuleni. We cannot allow poor governance to become the norm.
Take action by signing our petition:
Urgently repair streetlights in Ekurhuleni!
Cllr Simon Lapping
DA Shadow MMC for Water, Energy and Sanitation in Ekurhuleni