Emfuleni municipality service vehicles withheld due to non-payment

FILE PICTURE: A water truck leaves Sebokeng hospital that was affected by the 60% water restriction imposed by Rand Water after Emfuleni Municipality failed to pay the 400 million rands it owes them.
FILE PICTURE: A water truck leaves Sebokeng hospital that was affected by the 60% water restriction imposed by Rand Water after Emfuleni Municipality failed to pay the 400 million rands it owes them.
Image: Masi Losi

The embattled Emfuleni local municipality has been brought to its knees after a fleet of 158 rented vehicles including those from the waste, fire and traffic departments were withheld by a service provider due to nonpayment yesterday.

This brought the already slow service delivery to a complete halt in the municipality which has in recent weeks been unable to fix burst sewerage pipes, water leaks or collect refuse in most areas.

Sowetan has established that the affected departments include parks, building control, finance, human resources, water and sanitation, roads and storm water and the office of the mayor.

However, spokesperson Stanley Gaba said the service provider was paid R7-million yesterday and that all vehicles now remain in possession of the municipality, which has a month-to-month arrangement with the service provider, whose contract expired five months ago.

"The contract ended in March this year and the municipality has agreed to release the affected vehicles in batches back to the service provider over a period of three months, starting in September 2018," Gaba said.

Gaba said the municipality had "discovered that the contract had been irregular and has since began a process to appoint a new fleet service provider".

An employee said: "All departments had no single vehicle available, we couldn't do anything whatsoever."

DA's Kingsol Chabalala said: "It's very worrying that this is happening in Emfuleni which the ANC has collapsed ... as it can't even fix potholes."

 

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