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By Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Emfuleni municipality on the path to recovery, says Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa visited the area's waste water treatment plant and highway pump stations before meeting with stakeholders in the area.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says at although the Emfuleni municipality is still facing service delivery-related challenges, “good work” is being done.

Ramaphosa on Friday led an oversight visit to Emfuleni Local municipality to assess progress and steps taken to improve service delivery.

The municipality has faced difficulties in the provision of water services, leading the national Department of Water and Sanitation to intervene and effect upgrades and improvements to critical bulk pipelines and pump stations infrastructure.

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Ramaphosa visited the area’s waste water treatment plant and highway pump stations before meeting with stakeholders in the area.

“Good work is being done and we’ve kept this by engaging stakeholders. Many of them spoke positively about the progress that is underway here and in a few months, we will be on top of this problem,” said Ramaphosa.

“We are going to embark on a project as well to redo the roads to make sure we give our people a better and decent life.”

Addressing the media, Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi echoed Ramaphosa’s comments that the municipality had made progress.

“Indeed this municipality has been going through difficulties, some of the difficulties were of their own making, but some of them were influenced by the economic situation we are faced with as a country,” said Lesufi.

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“Today, we want to showcase progress, we can lament about the failure of the municipality, we can lament about the history of non-performance of this municipality, but today we want to showcase how far we are with taking the municipality out of this situation. A good story is developing out of Emfuleni. We started on a lower base, but we’re accelerating and improving.”

Emfuleni challenges

In June this year, employees took to the streets demanding their salary payments for the month of May.

Speaking to The Citizen, regional chairperson of the South African Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), Rhau Mphahlele said the situation of delayed payments to workers was happening for the third time since the start of this year.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has also demanded that the Gauteng MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Mzi Khumalo, intervene at the municipality.

ALSO READ: ActionSA calls on Gauteng government to dissolve Emfuleni council

“Residents of Emfuleni have suffered enough under this government, and it is high time that a permanent solution is found to resolve Emfuleni’s financial crisis,” said the party.

“We will continue to put pressure on both MEC Khumalo and Premier Panyaza Lesufi to rescue this municipality to be financially viable so it can pay the debt owed to service providers and start delivering uninterrupted services.”

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