The Rustenburg Local Municipality remains concerned about incidents of electrical and water supply interruptions, which have left many of our residents greatly inconvenienced this past weekend. The RLM, hereby renders its apology to residents, as the situation was further compounded by the inclement weather many parts of the country have had to put up with. Areas along the R 24 road, Zinniaville, Karlien Park, Tlhabane West and Bo Dorp experienced power outages, due to a cable fault, on the electrical network.
The significant delay in resolving many of the reported electricity supply complaints, was due to the downing of tool by employees from the Electrical Unit, claiming to have reached the maximum hours for over-time for the month as provided for within the applicable labour prescript. This occurred at a time when these employees were expected to be on duty, servicing our residents in accordance with the responsibilities the RLM has been entrusted with.
This put a considerable strain on the employees who in light of the situation, opted to serve the City’s residents. The Municipality relied on few employees who had the insurmountable task, of resolving all complaints related to electricity supply at the weekend. The leadership collective of the RLM conveys its gratitude to the Acting Manager – Electrical Services Mr. Edgar Phiri for his dedication and commitment in resolving the power outages which the Municipality was notified of.
The Municipal Manager has put in a contingency plan, by sourcing an external service provider to be available and to augment the City’s Electrical Unit in resolving service delivery challenges. The Executive Mayor and Municipal Manager taking into account the frustration of residents, spent the weekend until late at night on site with the team to ensure that work is done for electrical supply to be restored. The Greater Boitekong area was also affected by the power supply challenges, which were resolved on Sunday afternoon by the skeleton staff which was working during the weekend.
The RLM is also aware of water supply challenges in Greater Boitekong. Water supply was suspended due to a damaged 600 mm diameter bulk pipe-line. On the first day the internal staff attended to the site but a call was made that an external service provider should be sourced. The service provider had to manufacture the size and quality the portion of the pipe in resolving the issue. Further delays were caused by the manufacturing of the pipe, which happened outside Rustenburg. Once work was completed, regrettably the pipe burst again. Teams from Anglo American Platinum and Impala Platinum have been on-site to attend to this challenge, while work continues around the clock in resolving the problem.
A meeting took place earlier today chaired by the Executive Mayor, where the Municipal Manager and entire DTIS management team was present, to take stock of what transpired at the weekend and to put in place intervention measures. The Municipal Manager has been directed to attend to employees’ decision to down tools, when it was expected of them to be on duty. Residents must note that there is a consequence management process against the same employees who were involved in an illegal strike late last year. The Accounting Officer was directed to ensure that the service provider performs in accordance with expectations and that residents are not subjected to prolonged water supply interruptions. There was also a further directive to the Municipal Manager to deal with challenges pertaining to operations at IMQS and call centre to ensure that service delivery complaints are dispatched on time and to the relevant persons.
The Municipal Manager is expected to take stern actions; it is concerning that senior managers are not available to provide service to residents especially on weekends as well as giving regular updates on resolving issues raised by residents. A Special Mayoral meeting will be held on Thursday, where the Municipal Manager will be expected to shed more light on the interventions made on the above mentioned challenges.
Further updates will be communicated to the residents on Friday.