FS residents urged to pay for municipal services – Cogta

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The Free State Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) appeals to residents to settle their electricity and water bills.

Spokesperson Zolile Lobe says municipalities across the province are financially distressed and continue to be plagued by issues such as a lack of revenue collection, maladministration, and many others. He tells OFM News that payment by residents will enable municipalities to deal with many of its challenges and improve the provision of service delivery.

Municipalities in the province are currently amongst those with high Eskom and water board debts. They collectively owe the power utility more than R7.8 billion. Lobe adds that there is a high need for a closer working relationship between municipalities and communities. He highlights that payment by residents, businesses, government departments, and government entities will help a great deal.

He, nonetheless, urged communities to report any acts of wrongdoing by their municipalities. Lobe told OFM News that the newly appointed MEC, Thembeni Nxangisa, has requested for the development of strategies by the department towards addressing challenges plaguing many of the municipalities, including the establishment of the Financial Misconduct Boards, set to be in place by the end of this month at all municipalities across the province.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his State of the Nation Address last night, added that South Africans needs to pay for their electricity, as the viability of Eskom remains crucial to the country’s economy.

“Eskom is facing serious financial, operational and structural problems. We will, therefore, table a Special Appropriation Bill on an urgent basis to allocate a significant portion of the R230 billion fiscal support that Eskom will require over the next 10 years in the early years,” said Ramaphosa.

KATLEHO MORAPELA / OFM News