He also ordered all government departments [both provincial and national] which are owing the municipalities to settle their accounts, calling on the municipalities to improve their billing systems in order to improve on their revenue collection.
Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza this week Tuesday summoned all the municipalities that have challenges with settling their Eskom accounts to find a lasting solution on this matter which has dragged for a very long time.
The executive mayors had to give full account and provide clear solutions on how to solve this problem.
Amongst other things, the Premier ordered all government departments [both provincial and national] which are owing the municipalities to settle their accounts.
He called on the municipalities to improve their billing systems in order to improve on their revenue collection.
The Premier directed that a meeting be convened with Eskom on Monday to find a lasting solution.
“This provincial government must pay every municipality they are owing, we should not be part of the problem,” he said. The Premier added that municipalities needed to decide on whether they still wanted to continue distributing electricity on behalf of Eskom or consider surrendering the function.
“You are running this ‘spaza’ shop at a loss. People steal electricity and you battle with revenue collection. If you want to sustain this business, you must deal with illegal connections.
“Running a municipality and selling electricity is a business, if you do not pay your service providers, they will not trust you and you will have a credibility problem. Eskom is a business, it cannot give electricity for free,” said Mabuza.
He said the leadership of the municipalities needed to educate citizens about the culture of paying for the services.
“We cannot have a country where people are consuming the services and do not pay.
“Each time I am talking to you, I expect you to really get into that space of leadership and interact with our people.
“It does not take us any far as a country and as leaders if our choices are not good. We must share a common vision right from the bottom to the top,” said Mabuza.
*Mncwango is the communication officer in Mabuza’s office.