Lekwa considers its position during council meeting

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The Lekwa Municipality held their third council meeting at the Thuthukani Community Hall on 26 April and councillors had their work cut out working through a lengthy agenda.

No questions of which notice had been given as well as questions of which notice had not been given were indicated on the agenda.

According to a report by the Executive Mayor, Mr Linda Dhlamini, and the Municipal Manager, Mr Linda Tshabalala, a “Rand for Rand Payment Incentive Scheme” will be implemented to allow customers an opportunity to settle municipal accounts which are in arrears.

This once-off initiative will be undertaken during July and August.

According to Mr Johannes van der Wath, chairman of the DA, it was approved.

Mr Rosier de Ville, caucus leader of the DA, said they suggested that the scheme be extended to small businesses and it will be taken into consideration.

Application forms can be downloaded from the municipal website www.lekwalm.gov.za or the municipal offices in town, Sakhile or Morgenzon can be visited to collect forms.

The creditors age analysis shows an outstanding amount of R722-mil with a Eskom debt that is escalating reaching R307 454 919, a debt of R221-mil to the Department of Transport and the latest outstanding amount to the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation is R150-mil.

The municipality’s outstanding creditors amount to R33-mil, while SARS is owed R8-mil in relation to PAYE for which a payment agreement has been entered into.

The municipality is of the opinion that the installation of smart meters remains pivotal in ensuring that they bill all customers for electricity consumption.

The report recommended that the municipality’s own load shedding in the winter months be considered to reduce the Eskom account.

According to Mr Van der Wath, the matter was discussed and is under consideration with the DA voting against it.

As regards litigation cases and other legal matters, the Chief Financial Officer advised that a cost benefit analysis is done on some of the cases with a view of settling them to reduce associated litigation costs.

The opposition party was in agreement.

“We asked that the municipality assesses the costs of all legal cases to see which can be settled to save money,” Mr Van der Wath said.

Marina Schoombee

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