Msimanga administration achieves victory for the poor as SWA debt is written off

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I am pleased to announce that Council has today supported this administration’s move to write-off R754 million in debt incurred by the poor residents of Tshwane’s Mawiga Zone while still receiving services from the entity formerly known as Sandspruit Works Association (SWA) which Council previously voted to disestablish in July 2017.

This is on the condition that the residents affected begin paying for the municipal services provided to them by the city. This is designed to encourage the residents of Mawiga to start being conscientious rate payers while also rehabilitating the debtors book. This is a progressive and pro-poor move by Council this afternoon.

In doing so the City has undertaken to provide immediate interventions to ensure that the service levels in the Mawiga area are drastically improved. This includes but is not limited to the R5 million project to replace sewer pipes which started towards the end of last year. This project is currently underway and there are also plans to make additional funding available to continue with the sewer replacement project- once this first phase has been completed.

This network is aged and has been a problem for the people of Ga-Rankuwa that was neglected by the former administration which we are committed to fixing once and for all.

After years of poor management the SWA’s absorption and this subsequent move to write-off irrecoverable debt will form part of our vision to stabilise, revitalise and improve service delivery throughout the City.

This is a victory for this administration and the people of Mawiga and is further evidence that this is an administration that cares for the vulnerable members of our community.

Sandspruit Waterworks Association was a dysfunctional municipal entity, and in October 2016 Council voted unanimously to disestablish it and incorporate its functions into the City.  It served an area in Region 1 called Mawiga (Mabopane, Winterveld & Garankuwa).

After its disestablishment a number of civic organisations complained that there was no public participation leading up to the disestablishment. They also complained about poor service delivery, including blocked sewers, in Mawiga.

A legal opinion was obtained to the effect that a municipal council has the prerogative to decide on the best mechanism for service delivery, and to disestablish a municipal entity. In the absence of an express statutory requirement of public participation prior to disestablishment of an entity, we asked the question: were any rights prejudiced? The answer is no because SWA’s functions are being fulfilled by the municipality.

The report recognises the poor standard of service in Mawiga and asks the City Manager to address the issue.

As part of our commitment to openness and transparency, the City of Tshwane will implement a comprehensive communications plan which includes all stakeholders, employees and organised labour.

The City will communicate further developments of this process as it progresses and reassures residents that there will do our level best to ensure that there are no service delivery interruptions during this process.

This DA-led multiparty administration is committed to the safe, fair and equitable provision of services to all our residents and ask that they work with us to ensure the provision of rudimentary services.


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