Residents can rest assured that neither the water nor electricity supply will be interrupted this festive season.
Municipal spokesman, Joseph Ngala confirmed on Tuesday that the outstanding Eskom debt, amounting to R152 million, was settled on December 2, as indicated by the City of Mbombela Local Municipality (CMLM) on Thursday November 30.
“We had a meeting with representatives from the DWS, and we will continue servicing our current debt, but it is important to note that as the municipality we feel that some of the figures contained in the report which details our debt with the department are disputable,” he said.
Also read: Water and electricity back on in Mbombela
According to DWS, CMLM was one of 30 municipalities that owed it a total of R10 billion. “Residents must also note that only 30 per cent of those living in Mbombela would have been affected by the water cuts, as most residents receive their water from Sembcorp.”
Chief operating officer of the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT), Linda Grimbeeck, said that it had full confidence that things in the City would improve with proper management, but that it would take time. “We need to be patient, but cautious at the same time,” she said.
Grimbeeck added that the KLCBT urged citizens to pay their utility bills on time, especially during the festive season, to help the CMLM solve current payment issues.
“The chamber will keep members informed with correct and verified facts and intervene or support where necessary,” she said.
With the imminent threat of having basic services cut now under control, Ngala added that the CMLM has committed itself to ensure that all residents have access to basic rights like water.
“Access to water is a basic right, and the DWS cannot simply switch off the water supply to our residents or that of other municipalities. But now there is no reason to panic as we have come to an agreement with both entities,” he said.