Durban - EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede has apologized for the electricity cut in certain schools around Durban due to non-payment of their electricity bills. She said this was an unfortunate thing to happen.

“It should not have happened. I wasn’t aware that there were schools that were left in the dark. Even Krish (Kumar, Deputy City Manager Finance) was not aware of that more than 30 schools were disconnected. If a person doesn’t pay for services proper protocol must be followed and it would seem some protocol was not followed in this case. We need to look into how a school can owe around R4 million in electricity,” Gumede said.

During her opening of the executive committee meeting held at the city hall on Tuesday, Gumede said all the schools have since been reconnected to the grid and that a proper report of those who were not adhering to paying for services rendered and be dealt with.

“We welcome the roll-out of electrification plan to houses already built but are without electricity. These will include RDP houses, disaster relief houses, R293 houses and four-roomed houses which were refurbished by the city. We hope this move will also assist us in revenue collection. The city will continue to intensify its rollout plan to families that do not have electricity,” she said.

Gumede further announced the approval of title deeds restoration programme.

“Our city has a backlog of 71 815 units for post-1994 and 11 262 for pre-1994 stock that still has to be transferred to beneficiaries. A target for the current financial year is to finalize 3 000 title deeds, we have already issued about 1300 title deeds have been issued to date,” she said.

She said the problem with the late issuing of title deeds was only affecting black people. “Their dignity was being disrespected, and that needs to be restored. Many black people are unable to take out insurance on their property because the banks require a title deed. This also creates further issues when the owner of the houses passes away without receiving their title deed and the siblings fight over the ownership of the house. Giving our people land is our program of action for total restoration of dignity,” Gumede said.

She criticised MyWay for its action of leaking a recording between the company and the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini recently.

She said the city would support Isilo on the steps he would take against the company.

Gumede further congratulated DA leader Zwakele Mncwango on his successful campaign to the lead the party in the province for the second term.

Daily News