Debt collection a challenge for Msunduzi

2017-03-29 06:02

MSUNDUZI Municipality has admitted that its debt collection remains a challenge.

Presenting the 2017/18 draft budget before Exco last week, chief financial officer Nelisiwe Ngcobo told the committee that its debtors book has continued to increase.

The municipality will now prioritise debt collection in the next financial year, the committee heard. The municipality is owed a staggering R1,8 billion.

Most of the debt has been outstanding for over a year.

Major contributors to the debt are households at 69%, business at 20% and government departments at five percent.

Ngcobo also told the committee that the municipality will prioritise the capping of electricity and water losses.

According to the auditor-general’s report, the municipality lost electricity worth R181 million due to illegal connections in the last financial year.

The report further reveals that the municipality lost water worth R255 million due to ageing pipeline infrastructure.

“We will prioritise the replacement of the dilapidated infrastructure,” she said.

The municipality also wants to introduce smart metering in areas they do not have easy access to.

Msunduzi CFO Nelisiwe Ngcobo presented to the committee the city’s tariff projections for the new financial year.

The municipality said it will now increase electricity by 1,88%.

Ngcobo said the increase was informed by the recommendation of National Energy Regulator.

While the municipality was conducting public hearings on the tariff increases, it had initially proposed an eight percent increment.

“That’s what Nersa had said at that time. But they have come back to us to say the increase should be 1,88% and we will not be adding anything to it,” she said.

Rates will go up by six percent, water by 15%, sanitation by six percent and refuse collection will go up by six percent.

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