07 Oct 2010
The Gauteng housing department has dissolved the council for Rayton, Cullinan, Roodeplaat and the surrounding rural and residential areas because it cannot provide basic services or meet its financial commitments.
A letter sent to ANC political leaders in the region declared the council bankrupt and insisted that it be placed under administration.
All functions of the Nokeng tsa Taemane councilors will cease and Kayoom Bhyat will now administer the region. MEC for housing Kgaogelo Lekgoro says the municipality has accepted the mandatory intervention after it had failed to turn around its position even after an “aggressive financial recovery and support plan” imposed by the province.
What this means to residents of the region is unclear at this stage although there are fears that Eskom will suspend electricity supplies amid allegations that the council has failed to pay for the electricity used despite charging residents (and being paid by them) for the electricity consumed.
Late last week the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a high court ruling that set aside assessment rate hikes imposed on residents of the region for the 2003/04 and 2004/05 financial years.
Lekgoro claims that there had been consistent service delivery problems in the area and said that Bhyat, as the new administrator, would ensure that these problems are resolved.
He claims that Bhyat has a wealth of experience in local government finance and will be supported by a team of experts focusing on infrastructure support, finance, legal and project management.
However, Democratic Alliance MP James Lorimer says that Nokeng tsa Taemane is a council in a state of crisis and blamed the ruling ANC administration for the problems facing the region.
Two weeks ago the Gauteng province presented a letter to the ANC political leaders in the region declaring that the bankrupt municipality be placed under administration. The Auditor General earlier declared that much of the municipality’s spending had been fruitless and wasteful.
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