By Masilo Malakwane
QWA QWA – Maluti-a-phofung Executive Mayor Gilbert Tjhopo Mokotso delivered his State of the Municipal Address (SOMA) in Monontsha community hall yesterday, highlighting the progress of his MAP16 Civic Movement-led coalition administration over the past 204 days since it has been in power.
In his speech, Mokotso admitted that the coalition government had not been without challenges since it took office, “Yes, it’s been only 204 days yet so much has happened”. Said Mokotso who survived two motions of No-Confidence.
This year’s SOMA was themed, “Rebuilding Maluti-a-phofung”
Mokotso emphasized The implementation of R150 flat rate per households for all potential rural households which are not registered for Indigent Programme “the Municipality has established a committee that will ensure this implementation from the 1st of July 2022.”
He said the municipality has a budget with a deficit of R181.8 compared to the deficit of R926.4 million from the 2021/2022 financial year “Yes, it is still a deficit of which we commit to deal with, but it is much lower than in the financial year ending. This is because we have the implementation of stringent credit control measures in place meant to collect old debt to an amount of R2.1 billion and current accounts from municipal consumers”
Furthermore, Mokotso added that the Municipality’s financial recovery plan will enhanced debt collection strategies whereby all defaulters, including businesses, have been targeted and anticipate increased revenue for the municipality. “Also, we are determined to plug all leakages that drain our financial coffers unnecessarily. Specific attention should be given to detecting and curbing illegal usage of electricity, unnecessary water spillages and wasteful use of municipal property like vehicles and other resources.”
Mokotso said negotiations between Eskom and the Municipality to come up with the best solution to pay the old debt of R6.8 billion to service the current debt and other creditors which leads to high finance charges, “both Eskom and MAP continue to negotiate through the respective workstream in preparation for the signing of the Service Level Agreement” said Mokotso.