CoGTA outlines solutions to Ratanda electricity problems

Minister Baloyi has assured Ratanda community in Heidelberg that CoGTA ministry would look into new viable ways to distribute electricity in the area and work with Lesedi municipality to improve its credit control measures to manage defaults on payment for municipal services.

Minister Baloyi met with the Gauteng’s East Rand community to give them a feedback on several grievances that the community gave to government during the recent community protest.Ratanda residents recently protested against the Lesedi Local Municipality over the council’s electricity tariffs and allegations that the municipality was blocking the municipal services account defaulters from buying prepaid electricity coupons.

Violent protests exploded across the township triggering CoGTA to launch an investigation into people’s grievances and formed an intergovernmental task team to intervene.

This week, minister Baloyi told the community that the municipality has resumed selling electricity coupon to prepaid customers who could not buy electricity coupons because their accounts were in arrears for other municipal services.

“No pre-paid electricity users will be blocked from buying because they are in default of payment for other services, prepaid electricity users who are blocked because they owe in any of the other services will be unblocked, “said Baloyi.

Minister Baloyi said the municipality would unbundle the billing for municipal services as a way of managing credit effectively and ensure that a default in one municipal service account did not prevent residents from accessing other municipal services.

However, the minister said that the electricity distribution to Ratanda households would remain with the Lesedi Local Municipality while CoGTA was investigating whether Eskom should undertake the function.