A Tshwane community leader has accused the municipality of failing to listen to the plight of the poor communities battling unemployment, inflation and higher electricity costs.
Tshepo Mahlangu, the leader of the civic association representing known as Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Association (LASCA), has resumed its campaign to disconnect electricity from households with outstanding bills despite Pretoria West residents previously asking Tshwane Council Speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana to table a motion on the disputed bills, which they claim are “faulty”.
Last year, the city launched a crackdown, known as Tshwane Ya Tima, and targeted businesses, residents and even embassies which failed to pay electricity bills amounting to millions of rands.
Speaking to African Times, Mahlangu said the residents were shocked that the DA-led municipality had again re-activated the Tshwane Ya Tima campaign.
He said the disconnection campaign started yesterday, coinciding with the deadline for the memorandum of demand in which residents had asked the council to resolve the disputed bills.
“The government failed to respond to the memorandum in which we requested Tshwane council speaker Mncedi Ndzwanana to convene a special council sitting to have various political parties voting in favour of scrapping the estimated municipal bills. We believe that the bills are faulty,” said Mahlangu.
He said LASCA was concerned about the fraudulent letters of demand related to the electricity bills, as well as the fraudsters impersonating municipal officials and demanding money from affected residents.
“On the 14th of June 2023 at about 10 am, we hand delivered the memorandum of Grievances to the City of Tshwane Council Speaker, Mr. M. Ndzwanana. The memorandum contained various urgent items related to service delivery in Tshwane, with the primary item being the scrapping of estimated bills in Tshwane.”
“We gave the municipality 14 days to respond to our grievances. Instead of getting the response, we saw the newspaper article that the DA-led coalition will be countering the motion of scrapping estimated bills with their frivolous motion to unseat the very same speaker who is expected to table our motion on scrapping the estimated bills,” added Mahlangu.
Mahlangu said residents felt provoked and undermined by the DA-led coalition’s decision to counter their proposed motion.