LettersOpinion

#Letter: iLembe district municipality budget concerns

"IDM has already lost R106-million of water due to illegal connections, ageing infrastructure, major leaks and overflowing reservoirs - this amounts to 46% of the water purchased by IDM" - iLembe ActionSA Caucus Leader, Annet Sewraj.

iLembe ActionSA Caucus Leader, Annet Sewraj writes:

I have recorded the following discrepancies in iLembe District Municipality’s (IDM) adjustments budget.

Firstly, the R39-million increase in interest on outstanding debt indicates a high number of consumers are in arrears.

We call on the municipality to prioritise debt collection because failure to do so will negatively affect the budget and impede service delivery.

IDM’s expenditure on repairs and maintenance is also of concern.

The misuse of the municipal fleet by user departments as indicated in the annual report, means most of the cost incurred under repairs and maintenance can be regarded as wasteful expenditure.

We urge the IDM to investigate these abuses and curb the expenditure.

We note that IDM’s revenue collection has been adjusted upwards from 43% to 65%.

This is unrealistic without a more strategic and effective plan of action being implemented.

We also note IDM’s intentions to phase out the use of consultants, particularly in engineering services, as a cost containment measure.

However, if the municipality has no plans to employ their own engineers, how will this critical function be executed?

Lets wait and see.

IDM has already lost R106-million of water due to illegal connections, ageing infrastructure, major leaks and overflowing reservoirs – this amounts to 46% of the water purchased by IDM.

The municipality needs to inform both council and the public about the measures it will put in place to address water losses which, among others, should include the turnaround time undertaken by technical services to fix reported leaks.

The call centre continues to be the bane of the municipality’s functioning with everyone finding great difficulty in getting responses or proper feedback from the operators at the call centre.

This shoddy service must be addressed and training provided for call centre personnel to respond to queries with professionalism.


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