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SALGA NEC welcomes headway in Eskom Impasse

Posted: 16 March 2017


SALGA’s National Executive Committee on Tuesday, 14 March 2017, welcomed the progress made by an Inter-Ministerial Task Team in resolving concerns related to some municipalities being cut off by Eskom for historic debts.

Speaking after the NEC meeting held in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng, SALGA President, Councillor Parks Tau said key to the progress were the recommendations presented to Eskom recently by an Inter-Ministerial Task Team which led to the latest decision by the utility to halt power cuts in municipalities.

“The Task Team was established to find a resolution to the matter between Eskom and municipalities. The NEC welcomes the progress in the matter and we are now waiting for the Eskom Board to confirm acceptance of the tabled recommendations before we can go public on an agreement,” Tau said.

The NEC further welcomed the Presidential Coordinating Council’s commitment to create a dedicated slot in its next session for SALGA to present matters affecting local government and its sustainability, including Eskom and other related sector concerns. This followed a meeting by President Jacob Zuma with Premiers and local government leaders on Friday.

Following the recent announcement of an agreement between government and the companies that colluded in the procurement of 2010 World Cup infrastructure, and were fined R1.46 billion by the Competition Commission for anti-competitive conduct, the NEC has resolved to seek an urgent meeting with the Minister of Economic Development, Mr Ebrahim Patel, to discuss reparations for local government.

Tau said local government suffered massive losses because of the anti-competitive conduct. “We have also resolved to interact with all the municipalities that were affected to receive all the necessary reports of the work they have done regarding this matter,” he said.

The SALGA NEC meeting was also attended by the Auditor General of South Africa, Mr Thembekile Makwetu, who made a presentation on Municipal Audit Outcomes.
He emphasised that the local government leaders needed to play an active role on oversight, monitoring and leadership to tighten accountability and implement consequence management systems in municipalities.

Tau said: “We received an overarching presentation from the Auditor General regarding the composite picture of the audit outcomes. We then agreed that the Auditor General will continue engaging various provinces from tomorrow regarding their respective outcomes and what the follow up action should be to resolve concerns.”

“The NEC committed to work with the Auditor General to ensure that all matters outstanding are addressed by the respective municipalities and support systems are put in place to deal with all these issues,” Tau said.

He added: “We have also noted that there are several policy issues that we would like to pursue with both the Auditor General and the Accountant General to outline recommendations we wish to pursue with government.”

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