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Sedibeng government institution buildings in arrears targeted for electricity disconnections.

6Vereeniging - Finance and Revenue MMC Cllr. Hassan Mako officially launched the electricity disconnection campaign for government institutions that owe the municipality on Monday, 25 April 2022. The campaign is a credit control measure aimed at improving revenue collection in the municipality.

Cllr. Mako lead the revenue department team and Red Ants to Vereeniging CBD to carry out disconnections. Over 18 buildings housing several government institutions were targeted. Mako oversaw the disconnections of the South African Police Service (SAPS) training center, the Department of Labour and other key buildings in Merriman Avenue, Vereeniging.

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As the rollout of disconnections are now underway in the municipality, MMC Mako appealed with all municipal account holders with arrears dating back to 31st May 2021 to register for the incentive scheme to avoid disconnections.

“The drive to visit government institutions with the disconnection campaign is to deal with the constantly growing consumer debt due to non-payment. Recovering monies owed to the municipality will help the institution to successfully deliver on its constitutional mandate of providing adequate services. To improve collection strategies, we have introduced the Incentives Scheme to offer a discount to residential account holders and businesses with arrears,” Mako said.

Disconnection of government institutions forms part of a bigger plan by the municipality to recoup millions in services owed by business and residential account holders. The municipality will soon phase in water restrictions to improve revenue collection.

“For account holders to avoid these credit control measures, we are once again calling upon consumers to take advantage of the Incentive Scheme to avoid disconnections, the call is equally extended to government institutions,” Mako added.

Since MMC Hassan Mako officially launched the credit control campaign, over 30 accounts owing the municipality over 10 million have been disconnected. The municipality will be disconnecting 323 business accounts this month to recoup a little under 312 million.

Meet-and-greet run to rebuild good working relations with Large Power Users proves to be a success

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The Executive Mayor, Cllr. Sipho Radebe together with the MMC for Finance and Revenue, Cllr. Hassan Mako embarked on a meet-and-greet  run with several of the Emfuleni Local Municipality (ELM) Large Power Users (LPUs) from Monday (07 February 2022) until Friday (11 February 2022).

Radebe’s drive to reach out to LPUs comes after the Mayoral Committee was  informed of the longstanding service delivery challenges between the municipality and local businesses. The newly elected Mayor immediately called for reinvigorated trust and good working relations with LPUs. 

Addressing the executives at African Cable, the Executive Mayor admitted that a lot of mistake were committed over the years between the municipality and LPUs. 

“We are here today because we want to work together with local business leaders with the hope of turning a new page in a bid to save and create more jobs,” Mayor Radebe said. 

The Mayor did not pull any punches in pleading with the company’s management not to relocate their business to some other place because of service delivery issues that can be resolved.

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“We need to work together as government and business to avoid retrenchments and save jobs in Emfuleni. For any problems you may have, my office door is open, please come over and let’s talk,” Mayor Radebe said.

Luis Corte, the Managing Director for African Cable, said for their business to continue doing well it is important to have reliable power supply to keep operations running. 

“Executive Mayor, African Cable and two other LPUs in Peacehaven Industrial currently rely on one power transformer for supply and this has been the dire situation for years. The other transformer burned down in 2018, 4 years later it is still not been fixed,” Corte said.

The Managing Director said that their biggest worry is not having a backup transformer in case the one currently in operation fails. “Should this transformer experience failure,  that will result in an estimated six-months long period for closure of factories with a potential of 1 500 people facing possible retrenchment,” Luis Corte remarked. 

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MMC for Finance and Revenue, Cllr. Hassan Mako, in addressing concerns raised by the LPUs said he is happy that the meet-and-greet happened as it would help stabilize relations going forward.

Mako said that he is hoping for the success of these interactions as they will ensure that revenue rolls back into council coffers so that in return,  the same money is invested back into the much-needed infrastructure maintenance for businesses and communities of Emfuleni to thrive. 

“We have noted the incorrect billing and unreliable power supply plight by LPUs, these will be taken up with the administration of the municipality urgently. To find long lasting solutions to all challenges raised, the Executive Mayor plans to revive the disputes committee to attend to all outstanding matters between the municipality and businesses,” Mako said.

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The disputes committee combined with financial advisory committee will be chaired by MMC Mako with the charge to deal with financial shortfalls of the municipality.

Similar to other LPUs visited by the Executive Mayor and his delegation, African Cable management pledged their support for improved working relations with the municipality. 

Drawing the meeting to a close, Executive Mayor Radebe said that as the newly appointed council, they are determined more than ever to give both residential and business consumers quality services that they deserve. 

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