DA Joburg mayoral candidate accuses Sanral of not paying electricity bill
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THE DA’s mayoral candidate for the City of Joburg, Mpho Phalatse, has accused the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) of owing City Power plenty of money for unpaid electricity supply to its e-tolls gantries.
On Tuesday Phalatse said she was going to switch off the electricity supply to the gantries if she is elected mayor after November 1 local government elections.
“Should I be elected to serve as mayor of Joburg after these elections, I intend on being a responsible mayor for the residents by ensuring effective service delivery,” Phalatse said.
She said her party has been informed that the SA National Roads Agency (Sanral), the custodian of the e-Tolls system and their gantries across the province, were currently in arrears with City Power.
“Where gantries exist in City Power supply areas, City Power is currently supplying them with electricity.
“In a normal circumstance, Sanral should be paying the bills for this service.
“But with Sanral in arrears, it means the City of Joburg is not receiving revenue for this service, and the cost to keep these gantries on is being footed to the residents of Joburg,” she said.
Phalatse said should the DA be elected to govern Joburg, it would switch off the electricity supply to e-toll gantries in City Power supply areas such as on William Nicol Drive and in Rivonia, effectively collapsing the e-toll system in strategic nodes, based on non-payment by Sanral.
“We cannot allow the residents of Joburg to suffer any further from a shortage of services, because the national government is failing to take responsibility and pay their bills.
“It is unfair for local governments to bail out national government at the expense of service delivery.
The non-payment by Sanral short-changes City Power with much-needed revenue to fix ageing and broken-down infrastructure.
“With less revenue, it is the residents of Joburg who suffer outages that last up to weeks because City Power does not have enough funding to clear their own infrastructure backlog.
“This lost revenue could have also been directed towards the procurement of electricity from independent power producers to start freeing residents from load shedding,” Phalatse said.
She said Joburg residents were not getting value for money for services, saying despite some residents dutifully paying their rates and levies, there are constant power outages across the city.
“As mayor, I will have the responsibility to ensure that basic services are delivered, and all municipal funds are used responsibly.
“Municipalities get their revenue from various sources including, rates and levies, division of revenue, and grants from other tiers of government.
“However, when a municipality does not get revenue from these sources, it has a terribly negative effect on service delivery – especially because municipalities plan budgets based on what sources of revenue they anticipate to receive.
“In many instances such as in the case of Sanral, national and provincial government utilise services provided by the City of Joburg like electricity and water.
“Whether these are government departments or entities, they are expected to pay their rates and levies for any services used,” Phalatse said.
She said they would not stop at Sanral.
“A DA-led Joburg will clamp down on the culture of non-payment across all services, for any provincial or national departments, entities, and companies that are in debt to the City.
“Revenue is the lifeblood of basic service delivery, and we will not allow the residents to suffer anymore.
“The revenue that belongs to the City of Joburg must be paid to the City of Joburg.
“Service delivery must be restored.
“It is only a DA government that will get things done in the City of Gold,” Phalatse said.
Reacting to the allegations, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said it was incorrect to suggest that the power utility was not collecting revenue from Sanral or the e-toll gantries
“Sanral’s account is up to date, save for the few queries.
“In total Sanral has 25 accounts for its different installations with City Power, billed through the City of Joburg, and to date R42 million accounts in arrears have been collected from Sanral.
“So far only 4 accounts are outstanding out of 25 accounts totalling R3.4 million. Those 4 accounts, which don’t go beyond three months, are being queried for a resolution,” Mangena said.