Embattled Emfuleni municipality gets trucks day after sheriff attached its vehicles
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Pretoria - The ANC-led Gauteng government has been slammed for failing to address the financial problems at the embattled Emfuleni municipality, despite the high-powered visits led by Premier David Makhura to the area this week.
The municipality, which has been under Section 139 1(b) provincial intervention since 2019, was criticised after a video was circulated showing the residents of Evaton West swimming in a water-filled pothole, which was the size of a dam or a swimming pool.
DA caucus leader at the municipality, Tebogo Tlhokwe, said on Tuesday the sheriff of the court attached the municipality’s fleet of vehicles after a labour dispute over unpaid salaries and increments.
“The dispute comes after employees who were moved to a higher salary scale never received their increased salaries and allowances. Municipal employees were granted an order for the municipality to pay them a total of R28 million in backpay,” Tlhokwe said.
He bemoaned the fact that “nothing was resolved” on Tuesday during the high-profile visit by Makhura, Johannesburg mayor Mpho Moerane, Human Settlements MEC Lebohang Maile, Deputy Minister of Human Settlements David Mahlobo, Minister of Water and Sanitation Senzo Mchunu, and his deputy, Dikeledi Magadzi.
The delegation promised that Rand Water would address the long-standing problem of contaminated water due to spillage into the Vaal River.
In February, the South African Human Rights Commission found that the raw sewage flowing in the river was a violation of human rights of residents.
Criticising the visit by the top government officials, Tlhokwe said: “This is yet another example of the ANC’s failure to govern properly. They are failing to meet basic management principles to keep the municipality functional.”
Makhura said the municipality was placed under administration because it was unable to do certain things.
He said that in addition to the water problem, there were also waste management issues.
“You go anywhere in the municipality and residents will tell you that waste is not being picked up. We have intervened because the municipality was not able to do certain things. We are not just intervening. We are also bringing in our resources,” he said.
Yesterday, Makhura returned to the municipality in the company of Economic Development MEC Parks Tau and Transport Department MEC Jacob Mamabolo to hand over a fleet of 30 waste management trucks to the municipality.
The trucks included three front-end loaders, three tractor backhoes, six hook lift trucks, nine compactor trucks and nine tipper trucks.
The government said the new fleet would augment the existing set in the municipality and improve the waste management processes to ensure efficient service delivery – household collection, street sweeping, promotion of recycling through transfer stations, infrastructure development and rehabilitation of parks.
Maile also visited the municipality yesterday to hand over housing units and title deeds to beneficiaries in Sebokeng and Evaton.
Maile’s spokesperson, Castro Ngobese, said: “The Gauteng provincial government, in line with the electoral commitments of the governing party, has committed itself to tackle the housing backlog in the province in the next five years. Due to in-migration and rapid urbanisation Gauteng has a housing backlog of 1 million, which is the highest as compared to other provinces.”