Centlec’s financial woes remain a concern

Centlec’s financial woes remain a concern. Picture: File

Centlec’s financial woes remain a concern. Picture: File

Published Jan 31, 2024


The Auditor-General’s Office has revealed that the financial distress of Mangaung electricity distributor Centlec continues on a downward spiral, as it made an annual loss of R251 million in the financial year ending June 30, 2023.

Reacting to the auditor-general’s report, DA councillor Rudi Marteens told The Star that one did not need to be an accountant to understand the bleak picture outlined by the report on Centlec.

Marteens said the report summarised Centlec’s performance by casting a shadow on the entity’s ability to continue as a going concern.

“Although some inroads were made towards funds owed to Eskom compared to the previous financial year and cutting irregular expenditure to only R156 million compared to the previous year’s R195m, there is but little light in this dark tunnel.

“From material misstatements to brightening up Centlec’s engineering and new connection accomplishments to poor record-keeping, this report is not good news for normal consumers. The report is a testament to the community observations that Centlec is not performing as it should,” the councillor said.

He said the entity should have tangible reasons for how it got into this dire situation, considering the amount of money it was handling – which was just over R3 billion for the financial year.

“In light of Centlec’s monopoly as the only electricity supplier for Mangaung and since the majority of customers are on prepaid terms already, few businesses in the private sector would complain about such terms and conditions.

“As always, stating the problems at hand as excuses, officials convince themselves of the great work they have done in the unfriendly climate they help create.

“It’s interesting to note that not even the AG mentioned the effects of load shedding on Centlec’s performances.

“Mangaung’s failure to meet basic service delivery targets has not only failed its residents but is unlawful and non-compliant with set legislation.”

Centlec’s financial woes date back to 2019 when the entity reportedly owed Eskom about R100m.

Attempts to get comments from both Centlec CEO Malefane Sekoboto and Mangaung Municipality spokesperson Qondile Khedama were unsuccessful by the time of publication.

The Star

Sipho Jack