Municipalities R28bn in debt

2007-03-02 07:33

Johannesburg - The total municipal debt in South Africa is more than R28bn, the SABC reported on Thursday.

This made proper service delivery difficult, municipalities said during a debt collection "summit" held in Thaba 'Nchu in the Free State.

The meeting heard that the biggest problems were a lack of political will to enforce credit control and lack of financial skills.

The top 50 municipalities allocate 60% of their budget to cover bad debt.

In Johannesburg, it is as high as 79% while Mangaung (which includes Bloemfontein) is at 24%.

A clear revenue collection policy will now be drawn up, it emerged at the meeting.

The Development Bank of Southern Africa will provide technical support to municipalities and the SA Revenue Service may be called in to target non-payers who have tax numbers.