DA marches against water and electricity crisis in Govan Mbeki

Issued by Jane Sithole – DA Mpumalanga Provincial Leader
07 May 2024 in Press Releases

The DA in Mpumalanga embarked on a peaceful march to Govan Mbeki Local Municipality. The march was informed by lack of service delivery across the municipality and the ongoing water and electricity challenges. 

The march was led by the DA’s federal leader, John Steenhuisen,  provincial leader Jane Sithole and provincial chairperson Bosman Grobler. 

More than 500 members were in attendance as they accompanied the leaders to submit a memorandum of grievances to the executive mayor, Nhlakanipho Zuma. 

The memorandum details the municipality’s financial crisis.  Currently, the municipality owes its creditors like Eskom and Rand Water a combined total of R5.4 billion for services that were rendered and at the same time the municipality is owed R3.8 billion for services that were provided to residents.

These are some of the challenges we call on the municipality to urgently attend to: 

  • Water Shedding – Since 2018, Govan Mbeki has been experiencing water throttling by Rand Water over an inability of the municipality to stick to their payment plans with the bulk water supply company. 
  • Electricity –  the residents of Bethal, Embalenhle and Emzinoni have added load shedding in the form of load reduction. This is as the municipality tries to keep these areas within the Notified Maximum Demand of Eskom.
  • Unemployment – The energy crisis in the municipality and together with other issues fostered an increase in the expanded unemployment rate in the municipality from 30.6% in 2016 to 37.2% in 2022.

Notably, the municipality allegedly spent over R5 million in support of the Sejacufe Musical Festival whilst residents of this town are unemployed and do not have access to water and electricity.

Noting these challenges, we call on the ANC administration to develop a contingency plan that will address water shedding, formulate repayment plans with their creditors and prioritize employment and training initiatives for the residents of Govan Mbeki. 

The DA is the only party with exceptional governance capabilities. We urge Govan Mbeki residents to vote for change and rescue the municipality from the incompetent ANC.