Eskom debt looms as TCLM draws up budget

The smart meters were put on hold in Lydenburg

LYDENBURG – The Eskom account is “mysteriously” increasing every year.

This is according to the mayor of Thaba Chweu Local Municipality (TCLM), Cllr Selina Mashego, who delivered her 2018/19 budget speech during an ordinary council sitting on May 30.

She said that roads and stormwater received a budget of R30 million. “We have prioritised the construction of paving roads for Matibidi, Apara, Moremela Ring Road and Simile. “A further amount of R30 million has been set aside to implement, in phases, the refurbishment of dilapidated streets in town including Voortrekker, Kerk, De Clerq and Viljoen.”

For water and sanitation, TCLM will construct a one-megalitre reservoir at Lydenburg Hospital to the tune of R6 million and an upgrade of three kilometres of bulk pipeline in Lydenburg/ Mashishing which will cost R9 million. Sanitation projects which are prioritised for implementation include the wastewater treatment plant in Lydenburg, Sabie and Graskop to the value of R4,2 million.

With regard to electricity, an integrated national electrification programme (INEP) will apparently allow for the electrification of 241 households in Extention 6 through the reconstruction and development programme (RDPs). This will cost TCLM R3,7 million. A feasibility upgrade to the Sabie and Simile substations is budgeted at R1,1 million.

Public facilities include the construction of the Coromandel Community Hall at R3 million, the construction of a Simile Stadium of R10,3 million through a municipal infrastructure grant (MIG), the upgrade the Mashishing Stadium at R9 million, the construction of Lydenburg taxi rank at R2 million, the construction of a fence for the Lydenburg/Mashishing Harmony Cemeteries at R2,7 million and the construction of 20 toilets for cemeteries in Lydenburg, Sabie, Graskop and Leroro at R200 000.

A landfill site fence will also be constructed at Graskop and Simile at a cost of R1,8 million and R2,5 million respectively through MIG funding. “The municipality deemed it befitting to procure the following equipment; three refuse compactor trucks, three tipper trucks, two TLBs and one skip loader.”

A total of R2 million will also be set aside to internally fund an extended public works programme (EPWP) for unemployed youth of the municipality. Mashego said Eskom is a well-known challenge in the municipality. “The account is mysteriously increasing every year and we currently owe R430 million to Eskom.”

Due to inflation, the municipality has increased the service tariffs for water, sanitation and refuse removal by seven per cent. Electricity will increase by 6,84 per cent as per the approval by Nersa. On the expenditure side, the council has budgeted for R698 million and capital expenditure is budgeted at R112 million. Included in this revenue, the municipality is also receiving operating grants of R136 million from National Treasury.

  AUTHOR
Narda Vermaak
Journalist

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