Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

FF Plus requests PP investigation into illegal meters in Masilonyana

The FF Plus asked the Public Protector (PP) to look into the appointment of a company that installs prepaid meters in the Masilonyana Local Municipality (Theunissen, Brandfort, Verkeerdevlei and Winburg).

Mafumu Consulting has been installing prepaid electricity meters in the Municipality since 2020.

The Brandfort Residents' Association questioned the Municipality about Mafumu's appointment several times, but received no response and, consequently, made an application to the court, which was successful, to obtain an interdict against the installations.

The court found that the Municipality was not transparent with its appointment of the company. There is no evidence that the council approved Mafumu's appointment.

Masilonyana also failed to amend the relevant by-laws.

Mafumu is legally obligated to obtain a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to trade with electricity. It seems that the company failed to do it.

The court made it very clear that the purpose of the prepaid meters was to address the Municipality's outstanding debt to Eskom. But Masilonyana's debt to Eskom keeps mounting up.

Meanwhile, the Masilonyana council itself decided on Wednesday to declare the appointment of Mafumu unlawful and to withdraw from the agreement with Mafumu. So, Masilonyana admits that it did in fact act unlawfully.

Prepaid meters are indeed an effective way to generate income to pay off the Municipality's astronomical debt to Eskom. The FF Plus was, however, opposed to the appointment of this specific company right from the start because important information was lacking.

Proper tender processes were not followed, and how Mafumu was going to pay both Eskom and Masilonyana remained unclear.

The FF Plus demands a thorough investigation into the matter.

The PP's investigation must determine the extent of the Municipality's unlawful conduct and then the guilty parties must be brought to book. The FF Plus is also considering laying criminal charges.

Masilonyana residents deserve better than tender corruption and the corrupted-to-the-core ANC that is responsible for it.



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