Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Lebogang Maile, says the Emfuleni Local Municipality has had talks with electricity provider, Eskom, on plans to save 2000 jobs from wire manufacturing company, Cape Gate.
Maile briefed the media on latest developments at Emfuleni municipality on Monday. He said a principled agreement was reached between Eskom and the embattled municipality to solve problems at Cape Gate. Emfuleni owes creditors a total of R4.6 billion, with R3, 2 billion of that owed to Eskom as at the end of last month.
“A discussion was held with Eskom regarding the issue of large power users in general, and Cape Gate in particular. A principled agreement was reached for Eskom and the municipality to work together to find solutions to this very serious problem facing the municipality. On Cape Gate, it was agreed that the municipality, Eskom and Cape Gate will work together to make a submission to National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to try and save Cape Gate from closing down and saving plus minus 2000 jobs in the area,” the MEC said.
Maile said a Nersa hearing was held last Friday, at which Emfuleni administrators attended and made a presentation on behalf of the municipality.
“Nersa is now looking at the information that has been put at its disposal through all the representations and will make a decision at an undetermined future date,” he said.
The MEC said the ongoing sewage problem in Emfuleni was also part of the agenda in talks with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).
“A meeting was held with the Department of Water and Sanitation to discuss the Vaal River System project. The DWS is providing the municipality with eight sewer unblocking trucks, with a total cost of R14-million and a further R8-million will be spent by the DWS on civil, electrical and mechanical related services in the municipality. Another R50-million will be spent on unblocking sewer bulk lines,” he said.
Maile said Gauteng province has prioritised the Emfuleni infrastructure refurbishment projects in terms of hierarchy and categorised them in terms of high to low priority.
“The total cost for all these projects was R1730million, which has already been approved,” he said.