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Service delivery report discussed

The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality tabled its Service Delivery and Budget Implementation Plans (SDBIP) report for 2012/2013 at its October council meeting.

The SDBIP was referred by council to the Water and Energy Oversight Committee for consideration and assessment of the department’s performance and reviewed how the department managed its targets for the quarter under review.

The committee expressed its concern about the department’s failure in the maintenance and management of the metro’s streetlights and high mast lights and the turnaround time for streetlight repairs.

The oversight committee urged the department to develop a strategy for streetlights and high mast lights. The strategy should include an installation and maintenance plan for all streetlights in the metro’s wards as well as the budget. The committee further requested that the developed strategy should be implemented during the 2013/14 financial year.

The department of water and energy indicated that a take-over from Eskom was not financially viable. It has outlined that currently Eskom is collecting 30 percent of its revenue in the Ekurhuleni/Eskom supplied areas. The department is sourcing other alternatives to increase its revenue.

The committee suggested the matter be referred to the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and to a Ministerial level if Eskom fails to co-operate with EMM. It also indicated that discussions at a political level need to occur to ensure the Eskom take-over matter is speedily conducted and resolved.

The committee had questions regarding the low electricity sales during the fourth quarter. The department of water and energy indicated that the low electricity sales were asresult of a warmer winter experienced this year. This led to low revenue collection as the warmer the winter, the less the electricity usage.

The department of water and sanitation elaborated that the bulk meters installed in the informal settlements are problematic. Most of the bulk meter readings are not accurate. The department said they were working on the issue and it will be resolved in due course. The oversight committee noted with great concern the department’s inability to fix water and wastewater leaks on time. It has also requested the department of water and sanitation develop a maintenance plan for pipe leakages for residential areas. The plan is requested to be submitted to the committee by November 2013

The spokesperson for EMM, Mr Sam Modiba, said Eskom should be in agreement.

“The EMM cannot take over any Eskom assets without Eskom being in agreement with this. At this point in time, Eskom is not relinquishing any assets. Beside that, the EMM will still need to ensure that such a step will be manageable, given the numerous aspects which will have to be dealt with. Some of these are financial sustainability, human resources, depot locations, legal matters and so forth,” said Mr Modiba.

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