Update: MLM budget announcement
15 June 2021
Malaza stated that substantial amounts are being paid to Eskom, servicing an account that, according to him, may not be settled in the near future.
Amidst all-time high dissatisfaction from residents, and a new low in service delivery, the IDP budget has been announced by Msukaligwa Local Municipality (MLM), and has been slated as a multi-year budget. The MLM executive mayor, Cllr. Mkhaliphi, delivered the budget announcement, and subsequently outlined the state of the municipality. He admitted that the municipality is currently in a mixed state, and that several backlogs have been ameliorated due to the purchase of new equipment. According to Mkhaliphi, MLM will no longer rely on private service providers for fault finding and other services and that service delivery will be fast tracked. According to the report, MLM acquired, since 2019, 15 new vehicles, a compactor truck, a sweage suction tanker, 2 TLB heavy machinery vehicles and 2 vehicles for traffic management. According to Mkhaliphi, this will reduce expenditure on contractors. However, water delivery to rural areas are still maintained by hired vehicles. The acting municipal manager, SI Malaza, further stated that with the assistance of Gert Sibande District Municipality (GSDM), the municipality has aquired 5 water tankers, a bulldozer for the landfill site, a waste compactor truck, crane truck, a TLB, 6 light delivery vehicles and 1 traffic vehicle. He further stated that the municipality struggles with ageing infrastructure, insufficient maintenance budget, as well as issues with revenue collection.
MLM is currently implementing a financial recovery plan to enhance revenue. Another major setback involves electricity, cable and copper theft, as well as arson. Malaza stated that substantial amounts are being paid to Eskom, servicing an account that, according to him, may not be settled in the near future. According to the latest know figures, MLM has an arrangement of R180 634 883 with Eskom, with R35 000 000 already paid, and R145 634 883 being outstanding. It is unclear how these figures were calculated, or if these amounts are the interest or the capital amount owed. According to the last known report, MLM owed Eskom R172 million in August 2020. According to the MLM spokesman, Mandla Zwane, the municipality is on schedule with the arrangement between MLM and Eskom, and has stated that the NMD has remain unchanged since the court order forcing the lowered NMD to be restored. Find the detailed layout of the IDP in next week’s publication of the Tribune ePaper, including the services covered by MIG, departmental and WSIG funds.