The Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga has criticised the municipal manager of the eMalahleni local municipality over a R1 billion Eskom bill, saying the manager was not doing enough to ensure saving as streetlights remain on day and night.

The manager, Theo van Vuuren, came under fire this week for neglecting streetlights to burn day and night, wasting electricity.

EMalahleni DA councilor Dirk Grobler said he had written to van Vuuren but van Vuuren has not done anything to address the issue of the burning streetlights.

“His lack of decisive action in curbing wasteful expenditure in the municipality has emerged as one of the main reasons why the municipality’s debt to Eskom comes in at nearly R1bn,” Grobler said on Monday.

READ ALSO: DA repeats call for eMalahleni municipality to be placed under administration

“While the municipality blames a lack of revenue endorsement and at least 40% of its electricity being lost to illegal connections, it is clear that that the municipality is not doing enough to save electricity by allowing streetlights in Kriel to burn day and night,” he said.

Grobler said the streetlights have been burning all the time for over three years now and that the reason was because there was no transmitter to make the lights switch on and off.

“Purchasing a transmitter would cost approximately R30 000 and save the municipality millions in Eskom debt.

“The fact that the municipality can allow its Eskom debt to climb to nearly a billion while purchasing a transmitter would save the millions goes to show that van Vuuren is not interested in delivering efficient to the people of eMalahleni,” Grobler said.

(edited by ZK)

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