DA calls for urgent probe into Msunduzi electricity crisis

Issued by Cllr Ross Strachan – DA UMsunduzi Councillor
19 Nov 2020 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Msunduzi Municipality has written to the office of the KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) MEC, Sipho Hlomuka, and the Municipal Mayor, Mzimkhulu Thebolla, requesting a probe of the electricity crisis in the municipality.

 Almost 60% of suburbs in Msunduzi have been without electricity from either individual faults or power outage since yesterday afternoon with limited to no access to customer service. There has been almost no communication from the Municipal Management, and no way of providing clear feedback to the communities at large.

 The City’s Administration has clearly lost control over its mandate and is unable to continue to execute its executive responsibilities.

 Overtime disputes, lack of capacity, and limited resources and failing infrastructure is crippling the Technical Support Teams’ ability to operate.

The situation in Msunduzi (even under Administration and intervention from the Province) with regards to consistent and prolonged service delivery interruptions, has now completely collapsed.

We are pleading with authorities to intervene accordingly. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) must be requested to audit this Municipality in terms of its license, and the lack of compliance and ability to provide a standard level of service to all its consumers.

 The DA has long called for the municipality to prioritize a budget for maintenance and aging infrastructure and that all vacant posts within the Electricity Department be filled immediately.

 We have launched a petition which residents can sign to help with the electricity crisis in the municipality (https://petitions.da.org.za/p/keep-our-lights-on-in-msunduzi). Our already crippled economy cannot afford the persistent power outages. Businesses in the district have been severely affected and until something is done to address this, things are bound to get worse.

 Failure to respond timeously will leave no choice but to take up the matter with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees on COGTA, Energy, and Public Enterprises.