Party wants someone to be held accountable for “highly irresponsible” action.
THE DA in the Northern Cape will raise its concerns regarding the decision taken by Sol Plaatje Municipality to block electricity at the next ordinary council meeting (OCM), scheduled for July 12.
The DA wants to know what informed the municipality’s decision to take action the way it did, in the midst of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The party also wants someone to be held accountable for the “highly irresponsible” blocking of meters.
The DA caucus leader at Sol Plaatje, Christopher Phiri, on Thursday pointed out that some residents who were up to date with their accounts also had their meters blocked.
“The decision was an ill-informed blocking of electricity meters, which exposed serious flaws in how the institution operates. To aggravate the matter, these up-to-date residents have been left with a surprise penalty fee. This is unfair and must be immediately corrected,” said Phiri.
“The metre blocking was stopped after it resulted in a massive gathering outside the municipality, and has exposed serious flaws in how the institution operates.
“The municipality needs to explain why the accounts of certain politicians, including councillors who are clearly prohibited by the Code of Conduct for Councillors from being in arrears for more than 90 days, were not blocked, even though their accounts were in arrears.
“It must also indicate why defaulting government departments were not blocked despite the fact that they hardly pay their dues, while, in contrast, some schools had to make urgent payments to prevent blockages.
“Throughout last week’s chaos, the acting chief financial officer at the municipality, Kenneth Samolapo, was nowhere to be seen. He rather sent a less senior staff member to explain to the crowds who gathered outside the municipality to enquire about the blockages.”
Phiri said that the municipality’s “checks and balances” were weak, causing some residents to be punished while a blind eye was being turned to certain other offenders.
“We cannot tolerate a situation where meters are simply cut without the accompanying diligent verification of meters.”