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EC Municipalities owe Eskom R2.85 billion

According to the AG study most municipalities are so financially strapped that they are having trouble making the R839 million in Eskom payments. They also owe R347.2 million to water boards and have lost R569.8 million in water losses.

However, things are far worse now. The total municipal debt owing to Eskom as of 30 April 2022 is spiraling out of control and is rapidly reaching the R3-billion mark, according to former Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha, who responded to inquiries from the DA. The current figure is a staggering R2.85 billion. The following cities owe the most money:

Local government of Enoch Mgijima: R743m.
R444 million goes to Walter Sisulu Local Municipality.
Municipality of King Sabata Dalinyebo: R132 million.
R265 million Raymond Mhlaba Local Municipality.
R325 million Inxuba Yethemba Local Municipality.
R285 million Dr Beyers-Naudé Local Municipality.

Despite their budgetary limitations, municipalities continued to misuse the monies they were given. All of the province’s municipalities had salary costs that were higher than their fair share of R11.2 billion from the federal government and competed with service delivery for the limited resources available to the government.

The amount of irregular spending was R3.1 billion, which was added to the R24.1 billion in previously reported irregular spending that had not been looked into.

The top three donors to the irregularities, at R1.4 billion, R311.2 million, and R251.3 million, respectively, are Nyandeni, Buffalo City Metro, and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

In 17 of the 39 municipalities in the Eastern Cape, the Hawks are looking into more than 40 fraud and corruption-related cases, and as of April 2022, the NPA has secured several major convictions in these instances.

Buffalo City Metro, Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, OR Tambo District Municipality, Chris Hani, Amathole, Alfred Nzo, Engcobo Local Municipality, Enoch Mgijima, Inxuba Yethemba, Ndlambe, Great Kei, Amahlathi, Port St. Johns, Sakhisizwe, Mbhashe, Walter Sisulu, and Mnquma are the municipalities that are the subject of the investigation.

Eight municipalities that National Treasury had flagged as being on the verge of collapse and needing immediate intervention have been taken over by the government as part of a national intervention program to stop financial mismanagement, political instability, and internal strife in the Eastern Cape. They are Makana, Amahlathi, Walter Sisulu, Enoch Mgijima, and Raymond Mhlaba, as well as the OR Tambo, Amathole, and Chris Hani district municipalities.

The public healthcare system in Nelson Mandela Bay has been challenged by financial management concerns as state hospitals are in danger of closing.

State hospitals in Nelson Mandela Bay are in danger of collapsing as a result of staff shortages, damaged equipment, basic drug stockouts, emergency surgery delays, a brain drain of specialist doctors, shortened operating times, a shortage of nurses, and a sharp increase in the neonatal mortality rate.

Caleb Tayi
Caleb Tayi
I'm a critical reader and a lover of words. As the ECToday Editor my job is to polish and refine a story or an article, check facts, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
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