The brouhaha between Nelson Mandela Bay mayor Athol Trollip and Kouga mayor Elza van Lingen has descended into a public slanging match.
Like Nelson Mandela Bay, the Kouga Local Municipality is also located in the Eastern Cape. Both municipalities are the only DA-led municipalities in the Eastern Cape.
The altercation between the two party leaders began after Trollip requested van Lingen, to augment the amount of money her municipality pays to the bay for water supply.
According to Trollip, Nelson Mandela Bay for four years has been undercharging Kouga cities – Jeffreys Bay‚ Humansdorp and Hankey for water bills. Kouga receives the bulk of its water from the bay despite the many dams located in Kouga.
Mayor Trollip insisted that Kouga municipality must pay the bay R46 million arrears bill. This bill is in addition to their monthly water bill.
Mayor Elza van Lingen Slams Trollip
His assertion was however downplayed by Kouga mayor. The latter insisted that Kouga cannot afford R46 million. She also slammed Trollip for realising all of a sudden that the bay was undercharging her municipality.
Van Lingen lamented that Kouga would be in financial dire straights if it pays the money. She promised to report the matter to the metro so that a peaceful and lasting solution would be suggested.
She said: “This will have a huge impact on our cash flow and our ability to deliver services.
“This will have a huge impact on our cash flow and our ability to deliver services. I will be taking the matter up with the metro to find out exactly how the under billing occurred, why it took so long to realise there was a problem and what solution can be found to address it.”
Mayor Elza van Lingen also promised to come up with plans on how to secure long-term supply of water in the municipality.