During the consideration of the Division of Revenue Bill by a joint parliamentary committee on Thursday, it was revealed by National Treasury that three Gauteng ANC-run municipalities are in arrears with Eskom for more than half a billion rand.
Merafong City is reported to owe R140-million, Mogale City R173-million and the embattled and scandal plagued Emfuleni Local Municipality owes Eskom R262-million.
Eskom has previously threatened to disconnect non-paying municipalities, and considering its financial position, needs to recoup these amounts. The ANC in Gauteng has previously committed to having its government paying its bills, but this appears to be all talk when considering these massive amounts of arrears.
It also raises the question as to what these municipalities are doing with ratepayer money, as municipalities generate profits from reselling utilities to consumers to fund operations while paying bulk providers.
The DA will be tabling questions to COGTA MEC and ANC Provincial Chair, Paul Mashatile about this state of affairs and the broader state of financial mismanagement where the ANC governs in Gauteng.