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Power has been successfully restored in Jackaroo and Clearwater Estate in less than 24 hours after cables were stolen on Sunday.

We are grateful that Emalahleni Local Municipality’s Technical Services Division worked around the clock to restore power in those affected areas.

The DA councillor Ray Cronje chose to make outrageous allegations and create a pathway   to falsely accuse the municipality and the Executive Mayor, Cllr. Lindiwe Ntshalintshali, of feeding residents of Emalahleni with “poor service delivery.”

The facts are that both surburbs of Jakaroo and Clearwater are supplied from Blanchville Substation via 2 x 11Kv feeders which form a ring feed supply. Feeder No.1 runs along Adele Street and through the open veldt, and the 2nd feeder runs along the Old Middelburg Road. Numerous power outages have been experienced over the past couple of weeks affecting residents of the abovementioned suburbs, due to vandalism and theft of both supply feeders, and not because of “poor service delivery.”

The Municipality replaces and repairs damaged equipment and cables on a continuous basis which has a negative effect on the budget, and affects residents negatively.Theft of cables is everybody’s problem and the matter could be better addressed with law enforcement agencies. The Municipality is doing everything in its power to engage police with the view of curbing illegal activities of organised syndicates which are behind cable theft, what has the DA done? Which campaign has the DA embarked on to raise awareness against cable theft?

We would like to invite the DA and others to join us in council and make positive suggestions and help us to develop the best mechanism we can put in place to safeguard cables and equipment. This blatant distortion of facts by the DA is part of their campaign to harm the good image of the Executive Mayor under the pretext of “holding the executive of Emalahleni to account.”

Typical of the DA’s opportunistic politics, they use the blatantly false information about power outages to sneak through more lies about the planned purchase of the official car for the Executive Mayor, and “corruption” against the Municipal Manager. The continuous repeat of these lies is done to try and deviate the Executive Mayor and the Municipal Manager from their core responsibilities, which is service delivery.

The Mayoral car is not her personal car but a tool of work that will be used to assist the incumbent to execute her duties. The guidelines are contained in the Salga handbook. The MEC for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs has also issued a guideline on the purchase of mayoral vehicle. We following those guidelines.

Allegations against the Municipal Manager have been referred to the South African Police Services and no evidence to date has been tested in a court of law. Let us fight cable theft together as communities. Let us follow the good example of residents of Blanceville who through their Community Policing Forum (CPF) caught two people suspected of cable theft.

Having a ward councillor participating in an illegal gathering where tyres were burnt, damaging road infrastructure, and blocking the smooth flow of traffic does not help the fight against cable theft at all. Ward councillors must deal with issues affecting their respective communities in a responsible and lawful manner.