Salga sounds alarm over debt owed to Mangaung metro

2011-09-17 07:31

The South African Local Government Association (Salga) has expressed concern over the extent of service debt owed to the Mangaung metro, which amounts to R1.2 billion.

This follows a presentation by the metro’s municipal manager, Sandile Msibi, to the select committee on finance in Parliament this week.

Salga’s Mayur Maganlal said the “extent of the municipal debtors account was a major concern”.

He said part of the problem was that Mangaung had registered only 36 000 indigents, while half of the total population was very poor.

According to Maganlal more than 70% of the total amount had been outstanding for longer than 120 days.

Salga has requested the National Treasury to provide guidelines for municipalities to write off debt.

Msibi said some of the outstanding debt is payment owed for service delivered at government buildings.

He said departments owed a total of R72.1 million.

The municipality owes Eskom R143 million for bulk electricity, but made an arrangement to pay the outstanding amount by the end of November.

The senior management team of Mangaung metro had to travel to Cape Town to make the presentation.

This comes after the municipality had asked for an extension.

City Press reported that Mangaung metro mayor Thabo Manyoni had apologised to the committee for not having a presentation ready in time to present during the committee’s oversight visit to the Free State.

The acting municipal manager, Raymond Taye, wrote a letter to the committee asking for an extension, explaining that Manyoni was hosting overseas guests and that Msibi was on leave and could therefore not present a report. 

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