News

Eskom needed to get its house in order and stop making irresponsible statements in conflict with the constitution and confusing the public, the head of eThekwini Municipality’s electricity department, Sandile Maphumulo, said. In an interview on Thursday, Maphumulo laid into the electricity generator, saying it needed to remember it was a service provider and not a service authority. His comments come the day after Eskom’s interim chief executive, Brian Molefe, proposed to Parliament...
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Durban city bosses are digging into the coffers for emergency funding to pay for work already done to refurbish thousands of houses built in impoverished areas before 1994. This is after money promised by the provincial government for an eight-year project has not materialised. In the meantime eThekwini Municipality has stopped work on the R3.7 billion programme. Mayor James Nxumalo said he would hold an urgent meeting with Human Settlements MEC Ravi Pillay on Thursday. Subsidies not filtering...
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Residents of a Durban township were forced to pay half of their meagre salaries, received as part of a government jobs programme, to a ward committee member for apparently organising their employment. And it has emerged that some of the workers have been paid for months, and done no work. There are also fears that this jobs-for-cash racket is widespread in South Africa. A Daily News investigation into an Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) contract - awarded to the impoverished community of...
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A Harry Gwala district municipality councillor has incurred the wrath of his party by trying to prevent what he describes as wide-scale “looting of public funds”. Instead of supporting Mandla Ngcobo's efforts, the ANC disciplined him for sowing division within the party, prompting his resignation as speaker of the southern KwaZulu-Natal municipality at a council meeting in March. Now Ngcobo has written to President Jacob Zuma, pleading for him to intervene in the matter. In the...
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In a judgment that could have wide-ranging implications for government, the Constitutional Court on Monday held that state organs, as employers, have to take over the employment contracts of workers—previously employed by an outsourced contractor—if a contract or tender is cancelled, and if the work that was outsourced is transferred back to the state. The question before the court was the relationship between Section 197 of the labour relations Act (LRA) and the municipal systems...
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Rattled by declining votes in urban areas in recent polls, the ANC has introduced stringent guidelines for selecting candidates for the 2016 local government election. This is to avoid a repeat of 2011, when chosen candidates were rejected by unhappy branches and in some cases accused of causing the electoral losses the party suffered. According to ANC-reviewed draft guidelines, a copy of which the Mail & Guardian has seen, candidates wanting to represent the ANC next year must, inter alia...
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The South African Local Government Association (Salga) is unhappy with the Treasury’s withholding of equitable share allocations to about 60 financially errant municipalities. Salga says while the R5bn in consumer debt owed to local government by other spheres of government will go some way to settling the R9bn owed to Eskom, there is no clear correlation between those municipalities burdened by debt (typically larger cities) and those with the most compromised creditors. Salga is at a...
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Since early February, the City of Johannesburg has been clearing intersections in the city of beggars, window washers, street traders and pamphleteers. The project, called Operation Ke Molao (It’s The Law), follows the rationale that people making a living at intersections engage in criminal activity and make the intersections unsafe for motorists. Despite being introduced as an anti-crime initiative, Ke Molao is not being carried out by the South African Police Service in terms of...
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Eskom plans to interrupt bulk electricity supply to the top 20 defaulting municipalities across the country, with effect from June. This represented about 3.8 million people, or 7% of the population, Bloomberg reported. As at March 31 2015, the total municipal arrears debt greater than 30 days was R4.6bn, Eskom said in a statement. Of this amount, the top 20 defaulting municipalities are currently indebted to Eskom to the amount of R3.68bn for the bulk supply of electricity. Eskom said it was...
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Municipal leaders have accused government of using municipality money that was meant to be used to deliver services to the poor to instead solve Eskom’s woes. They are threatening to go to court after National Treasury froze the funds of 56 municipalities for owing R12.6bn on services, according to City Press. They also said they wanted President Jacob Zuma to intervene in the dispute. The freezing of the funds came after Eskom and the Water Board initially threatened to cut the...
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