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Harrismith Municipality Colapse

On what seemed to be a happy, peaceful easter Sunday morning, at around 08:00 on Sunday 04 April 2021, trouble struck. A large transformer and part of the electrical infrastructure of the Eskom lines supplying the Harrismith district malfunctioned and burned. Because of the neglect and lack of maintenance by the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality to their own infrastructure and not having any circuit protectors in place, the damage carried through to the municipality power infrastructure and some the the municipal lines and transformers also burned badly.

As per usual, Eskom quickly jumped on the project to repair their own infrastructure, and before lunch time on Tuesday, the Eskom supplied areas were back on and had electricity supply. The Municipality however, were not as quick to react. In fact, today, at 14:00 on Friday 9 April 2021, almost a full 5 days later, a contractor has not yet even been appointed by the municipality to fix their infrastructure.

There are even some of the previous contractors that did not even want to quote the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality because their work from many months ago, has not yet even been paid. Adding insult to injury, it is a well known fact that this particular municipality already owes Eskom in excess of R6 billion, having not paid a single cent for electricity supplied by Eskom to the Municipality since 2014. The money collected by the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality for electricity, rates and taxes is not even enough to just cover the exorbitant salaries of the municipality staff, which is also more than three times bigger than is needed.

It is clear that the corrupt Municipality has all but completely collapsed, yet is still being kept open by National Government, so that the corrupt comrades could carry on looting the state funds for themselves. Residents have started taking to the National N3 highway in protest of the lack of service delivery by the incompetent and bankrupt Maluti-a-Phofung municipality.

maluti a phofung municipality

Concerns Over Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality Collapse

The FF Plus says that the Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality in the Free State is one of the biggest failures in the province, and serves as proof that the ANC is not capable of governing any municipality sustainably.

The party says the municipal manager, Futhuli Mothamaha, increased the chief financial officer, Jeremiah Baleni-Mazinyo’s, as well as his own salary by R440 000 and R 563 000 per year respectively within the first month of service. About 1400 municipal workers’ salaries were also increased by 28% during the Covid-19 period whilst the municipality remained largely closed.

The FF Plus says that no municipal accounts for this municipality were delivered between 2017 and 2019, and the enormous loss of income contributed to R 5 300 000 000 in Eskom debt. In addition, about R 167 000 000 is needed to increase the delivery capacity. These power problems have apparently already resulted in foreign investors withdrawing projects worth R 540 000 000.

The party further says that not a single water purification plant works in the municipality, and this causes, among other things, large-scale pollution of the Wilge and Vaal rivers.

Source: Overvaal Stereo

Municipality Issues Media Statement

After the new spread like wildfire yesterday of Eskom seizing the Maluti-a-Phofung municipality assets because of the mounting debt that the municipality owes Eskom, the Municipality released these new media statements today on the matter.


Eskom seizes assets of Maluti-a-Phofung Municipality

Assets of the cash strapped Maluti A Phofung municipality, in Qwaqwa, in the Free State have been seized by Eskom after the municipality failed to honor its bill of 2.7 billion rand. The municipality has been topping the list in the country on the power supply debt.


Municipality leaves Maluti-A-Phofung residents with no basic services

The failing Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality in Qwa-Qwa, Free State owes Eskom a shocking R2.8 billion.

The biggest debt owed to the power utility by any municipality. Part of the reason taxpayers have to pay again to bail out the power utility. So in effect, this has the impact that many electricity customers have to pay twice, for the same electricity units used. Firstly they pay the Municipality for the electricity used, money that the municipality is then supposed to pay to Eskom for providing such electricity, but instead they use it for other unbudgeted expenses. This in turn, throws Eskom deeper into debt, and then Eskom needs a bail-out again, so the bail-out is paid from the taxpayers money, many of them, being the same individuals that paid for the electricity in the first place.

Residents in the Maluti-A-Phofung municipal area have been deprived of additional basic services such as provision of water and refuse collection, primarily due to financial shortage caused in governance. Mabolela district toilets are very rarely pumped out, causing them to leak sewage much of the time. Harrismith, has various sewage leaks in lower lying areas around town, some ongoing now for more than 2 years. The water provision in Harrismith, Wilge Park and Intabazwe also came to a grinding halt in December for more than 4 weeks, and would still have been off to this day, had a brave local business man, together with other residents not stepped in themselves, at their own time and costs, and fixed the situation. Still maintaining it currently.

The SASSA offices in Phuthaditjhaba have to close early every day due to lack of water, leaving the most vulnerable members of society with limited access to their grants.

The “fully revamped” Phuthaditjhaba Industrial Park announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa is simply not occurred, with no visible signs of improvement or indications of job creation. The park is often shut down and work is stopped, due to no water or electricity. The Free State Development Corporation have been tasked with, and paid for the industrial park, as well as the so called ‘Special Economic Zone’ in Tsiame, which after spending hundreds of millions on a big fence around it, seems to be used as an expensive cattle camp.

Local Harrismith businesses have pulled together in a landmark attempt at bypassing the municipality by paying Eskom directly for electricity, and this was done on a legal basis, with a court interdict.

A New

Welcome to the redesigned new site for Initially launched as a small initiative of the Harrismith Youth Forum, a division of the Harrismith Business Forums, we have been overwhelmed by the number of visitors we have received over the past 5 years, and thank you for your continued support of the Harrismith community and the Harrismith Youth Forum.

Because of the number of visitors and the high number of requests for information we receive daily on the website, we have decided to completely redesign the website, and relaunch it as a full information portal for the beautiful Free State town of Harrismith. A small place, with BIG happenings and impact.

Our website now includes a business directory of the important businesses in Harrismith, and events calendar for important happenings in and around Harrismith, a news section highlighting the important news of the area as well as some interesting info, weather and history about our town.

So have a look around and visit back regularly to read the latest updates, or sign up for our newsletter to get them delivered straight to your mailbox. We also offer email addresses here if you would like to make yourself or your business a professional member of Harrismith.

If you have a business in Harrismith that is not in the directory, please send us your info as soon as possible so we can get you listed for free. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!