While the total owed to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is R9.9-million‚ the amount the education district has to pay – or make arrangements to pay – before the metro will switch the lights back on is R5.4-million.
The Ethel Valentine office block in Sidwell is the latest casualty in the municipality’s quest to get account defaulters to cough up money owed.
It comes at a crucial time at the end of the school year‚ when education officials start to capture the matric exam results.
However‚ Port Elizabeth’s acting district director‚ Mphakamisi Hlekani‚ said the results were captured at their provincial offices and would not be affected by the power cut.
But it did mean the Port Elizabeth office was cut off from the other districts and Bhisho because it was unable to access the Persal system – used by the government to make payments.
Staff had also been leaving at noon every day for the past two weeks because they were unable to work without electricity.
“It has been a problem to capture information in the Persal system‚” Hlekani said.
“If something urgent must be done on the system‚ [we] have to drive to the Uitenhage and Grahamstown district as the information can only be captured in another district office.”
The accounts of about 20 schools and education administration offices are 60 days overdue and 15 are 90 days behind with their payments‚ according to a municipal report seen by The Herald.
This story appeared in The Herald
– TMG Digital/The Herald