Msunduzi owed over R1,8 billion by households and businesses

2016-06-20 10:37
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - Government departments owe more than R80 million to the Msunduzi municipality, with the front runners being Public Works, Land Affairs and public schools.

However, the government debt is “small” compared to business and household debt, which is sitting at more than R1,8 billion.

Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) chairperson Mike Tarr said the government debt is of concern and a proper audit of all debt is desperately needed.

The total debt outstanding by government departments is R 81 750 339,65 and of this more than R45 million is over a year old.

According to Msunduzi municipality, the top five government departments that are in debt with the City are provincial Human Settlements, national Public Works, provincial Public Works, regional Land Affairs and public schools.

Tarr said the municipality needed to “jack up” the debt collection rate.

“There are times when households and businesses do not get cut off for non-payment or they illegally reconnect their services. This is a serious risk and problem and our own citizens owe the most,” Tarr said.

Spokesperson for Human Settlements and Public Works, Mbulelo Baloyi said the amounts owed by the departments are due to late delivery of invoices by Msunduzi Municipality and interest accumulating.

“The Department of Human Settlements is, therefore, not able to make payment within the short time-frames from date of receipt of invoices due to proper financial controls and processes which need to be followed internally, and payment times thereof,” he said.

Baloyi added that the debt is expected to be paid during this financial year as a decision was taken to make payment in bulk bi-annually to Msunduzi Municipality.

Msunduzi municipal acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said the Department of Public Works had appointed a consultant to assist with the reduction of government debt.

She said all government debtors in arrears were sent for analysis and the debt was verified by the consultant.

“The consultant has completed his close-out report and submitted it to council. The consultant will now send the close-out report to Public Works who will begin with payment of arrear debt,” said Madonda.

She said it was anticipated that this process will alleviate the debt due by government departments.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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