Gauteng owed R26 billion

By Drum Digital
11 July 2012

Gauteng municipalities are owed more than R26 billion, The Star newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Households owed 70 percent of the debt, businesses 23 percent and the government two percent, according to the newspaper.

Democratic Alliance local government spokesman Fred Nel said: "Debt owed to municipalities in Gauteng rose by R4.26 billion (19.2 percent) in the last financial year, between 31 March 2011 and 31 March 2012."

With the debt being older than 90 days, it posed a serious problem since debt that old was not usually recoverable.

The information was sourced from Gauteng provincial gazettes, he said.

The City of Johannesburg was owed more than R11.2 billion by the end of the last financial quarter, compared to R8.4 billion last year.

The Ekurhuleni metro was owed R8.1 billion, up from R7.2 billion; the City of Tshwane R3.6 billion from R3.2 billion, Emfuleni R2.3 billion from R1.9 billion, and Mogale City R612 million.

The West Rand district municipality was owed R8.2 million, Randfontein municipality R220 million, Lesedi municipality R163 million, Westonaria R110 million and Midvaal R78 million.

Merafong was owed R490 million last year. There were no figures for this year, according to the newspaper.

The Sedibeng district municipality was owed the least, R652,000, down from R1.7 million last year.

Nel said the DA wanted the SA Revenue Service to look at linking municipal arrears with income tax returns since this would be cheaper than debt collection, The Star reported.

Gauteng local housing MEC Humphrey Mememzi told the provincial legislature in May his department and the provincial treasury were implementing a debt strategy to ensure departments paid their municipal rates and services.

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