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Friday, 02 February 2018 10:11

Schools with outstanding electricity bills will not automatically be disconnected

EThekwini Mayor Zandile Gumede reiterated that section 21 schools that had outstanding utility bills would not automatically be disconnected.

She was speaking at a Full Council meeting today, 31 January where the Mid-Year Budget and Performance Assessment Report for the period 31 December 2017 was tabled.

The report outlined outstanding government debt which included section 21 schools who have outstanding debt of R80 365 730.

While the report, which was initially tabled at an Executive Committee (Exco) meeting yesterday, 30 January, recommended that disconnection notices be sent to the affected schools with disconnection being effected at the schools - a decision was taken to send the notices but suspend any disconnections.

Speaking at the Full Council meeting, Mayor Gumede said opposition parties were grandstanding and distorting the facts saying electricity at schools would be disconnected.

“There is no way the Municipality is saying schools will be disconnected. I reiterate what I said yesterday (at Exco) that while we won’t stand in the way of officials doing their work they must send notices so we can see in reports what the situation is. Those schools who receive the disconnection notices are welcome to come to the Municipality to make payment arrangements. You have to pay for services rendered, it is very important,” she said.

Mayor Gumede said as the mayor she will not allow schools in poor communities to have their electricity disconnected.

“They must come to us and make payment arrangements so that we can continue to provide services. If anyone alleges electricity has been disconnected at a school let us know in writing so we can investigate. We will always liaise with principals,” she said.

Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu welcomed the report and reiterated what Mayor Gumede had said.

“Mayor Gumede did not say electricity must be disconnected at schools. She said notices of disconnection must be sent as processes have to be followed,” he added.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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