Carletonville - Water and electricity supplies to residents of Merafong City local municipality in Gauteng could be switched off "any day now" as debt to both Rand Water and Eskom continues to spiral out of control, the Democratic Alliance warned on Sunday.
Last month, the municipality was served with notice that it would face rolling load-shedding as it had not made payment to Eskom. Given the severity of the problem, the ANC-led council made a dash payment to the power utility before the disconnection occurred, DA Gauteng MPL Ina Cilliers said.
"It now emerges that the money used to pay Eskom and Rand Water was meant to fund indigent subsidies and infrastructure improvement project," she said.
As at the end of July 2017, debt to Eskom stood at R129 million. This had now rocketed up to R154 million despite the payment to keep the lights on. Similarly, at the end of July, debt to Rand Water stood at R50 million and had now increased to R60 million.
Coupled with this was the R13 million that the municipality needed to recoup from government departments.
"It is evident that Merafong continues to spend more money than it collects every month without considering that residents will pay for this impunity with their economic livelihoods. The DA stands with Merafong residents who are at risk of losing their jobs or closing their businesses because of an uncaring government."
The DA would continue to demand action from the Merafong mayor as well as Gauteng co-operative governance MEC Paul Mashatile to impose a financial recovery plan on Merafong urgently, Cilliers said.