Bitou Media Statement
For Immediate Release
All Media houses, journalists
25 February 2019
BITOU COUNCIL RESOLUTION PETITION FROM LOCAL COMMUNITY ON ELECTRICITY TARIFFS
On Monday, 25 February 2019, His Worship, councillor Msimbothi Peter Lobese, Executive Mayor tabled an item at a Special Council meeting. The tabled item relates to a petition that was handed over to the mayor on Wednesday, 20 February 2019, after a march by various members of the community. The item was first tabled at a meeting of the Mayoral Committee on even date (Monday, 25 February 2019).
Council, deliberated on all the issues raised in the petition, under Item C/2/133/02/2019 (Response to petition from concerned citizens) and resolved thus;
That the 50 free electricity units be re-introduced for all sub-economic areas;
That electricity cut-offs be re-introduced to those that can afford and not registered indigents;
That the Credit Control Policy be revised that auxiliary should be implemented 50/50;
That the budget be adjusted to accommodate the above policy changes;
That it be noted that the following challenges will be faces;
(a) that the possible increase of tariffs and the introduction of rebates for pensioners be considered in the preparation of the 2019/2020 budget.
Residents should be advised that the cost of the measures taken by Council, represents a R40 million loss in revenue which will affect the budget and various projects & programmes that have to be either re-adjusted downwards or postponed to later budget periods. These measures may in the medium to long-term also have lasting negative implications on the financial sustainability of the Council.
The report in Council also reflected on the demand from the protest march to become direct Eskom consumers. Bitou municipality as a NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) licensed distributor of electricity does not have the authority to consider this demand and advise the communities to apply to NERSA directly for the migration to Eskom (Elektrisiteitvoorsieningskommissie/ Electricity Supply Commission – electricity public utility).
A formal response on the petition will be given to the leadership of the concerned residents/ citizens within the stated timeframes.
The Executive Mayor wishes to place his appreciation on record for the peaceful and responsible manner in which the communities have raised their issues; yet bemoans the elements who got involved in criminal and violent activities on the fringes of the protest march.
Enquiries: Manfred Van Rooyen, Senior Communications Officer
Tel: 044 501 3193, Mobile: 063 407 3112, E-mail: MvanRooyen@plett.gov.za
Communications, Department: Corporate Services, BITOU MUNICIPALITY
Last published 25 February 2019