News24

City of Johannesburg denies R13bn debt

2011-11-10 22:46

Johannesburg - The city of Johannesburg on Thursday denied it was R13bn in debt after reports of a possible liquidity crisis.

Outstanding balances related to rates and taxes amounted to about R5.3bn by September 30 this year, city spokesperson Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela said in a statement.

"The cash position of the city has improved significantly in the first quarter of the current financial year. This can be attributed to improved levels in the collection of revenue."

On Wednesday, the Democratic Alliance said the city was running out of money because it was not collecting enough revenue.

DA caucus leader Mmusi Maimane called on the city to beef up its revenue department and set up a team to collect the outstanding R13bn in debt.

"You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what R13bn could do for the city."

He said this was largely due to a dysfunctional revenue department that could not arrange for meters to be read correctly.

The city denied this and said the number of accurately billed customers has increased significantly.

"Revenue collection has responded to the interventions made in billing and credit management. Back office re-establishment has also resulted in accelerated query resolution," Maphologela said.

"The city is making inroads in the collection of old debt as indicated by the 102% collection level achieved during [July and September this year]."

The collection average over the last eight years has always been between 91% and 95%.

"There are certain historical areas where collection levels have always been low with the current socio-economic environment and this will always be an issue."

He said no business that sold services for credit could ever have 100% collection.

"We are currently on the 92% collection levels."

During January and February 2011, the city embarked on a credit control campaign, with the cutting of services but this was put on hold due to a public outcry.

Maphologela said the city established a task team to deal with queries.

The operating hours of main customer service centres were extended to seven days a week and an outbound call centre was set up to deal with outstanding queries.

The city had also sent pre-termination notices to customers and after 14 days services would be cut off as a last resort to collect outstanding debt.

"Given the current circumstances, the City of Johannesburg is bound by legal mandate to collect what is owned," Maphologela said.

Comments
  • Donovan - 2011-11-11 01:54

    Bloody thieves at CoJ have yet to refund me the money for rates and services paid in advance that they stole when I sold my house last year. World class African city my a**.

      Van - 2011-11-11 06:31

      I'm still waiting for mine from Ekurhuleni. Typical ancESTORAL behaviour.

      Kevin - 2011-11-11 07:28

      After 6 months got the refund guys email address and sent him 50 emails a day. He paid me my bucks after two weeks.

      Dave - 2011-11-11 08:54

      @Kevin - please publish the refunds boytjie's email address here, I, for one, need it. 4 years and counting.

      ludlowdj - 2011-11-11 10:52

      Actually if one looks at African cities, Johannesburg is in fact one, what one doesn't hear of course is that a first class African city equates to a poor third class western city. Whites also need to recognize and realize that they are actually being sold out by white western interests who are in fact the puppet masters pulling the ANC strings

  • lawson.lutchman - 2011-11-11 07:04

    No problem man, the taxpayer has deep enuff pockets to bail them out...

  • Oneant - 2011-11-11 07:52

    " We are not on a collision course with a concrete block at 220km/h.. no siree... we are on a collision course with a concrete block at 160km/h... theres a difference you know."

  • Bruce - 2011-11-11 08:18

    If only there accounts were right they would realise that half of there debtors book is wrong due to incorrect billing

  • godesha - 2011-11-11 08:20

    Honestly, did we expect them to admit to having financial problems? You would think that there is an endless supply of money they way some municipalities/metros are carrying on.

  • Koos - 2011-11-11 09:36

    MAYBE IF THEY STARTING CHARGING CORRECTLY FOR ELECTRICITY AND WATER THEIR COLLECTIONS WILL BE BETTER!! MY WATER UNIT IN MY OLD TOWN HOUSE THEY SAY ON THEIR BILLS THAT THEY DID A READING AND THEN CHARGE ME 264KL FOR WATER FOR A 250 SQ TOWN HOUSE! THEY HAVE NEVER ENTERED THE COMPLEX TO DO A READING!! THEY ARE IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • johannekie - 2011-11-11 09:52

    "The city denied this and said the number of accurately billed customers has increased significantly." That might be true, but I'm not one of them. Outstanding balance on my account is almost R100 000. And we've only live there 1,5 years now.

  • Positiewe - 2011-11-11 11:56

    And "they" investigate Midvaal for corruption and mismanagement...

  • Rob - 2011-11-11 12:44

    Included in this fiasco is the JMPD traffic fines mess. In answer to Councillor T Radebe (DA)'s question about PPPs in speed and traffic enforcement the council replied that there are four contractors, R27 per 'prosecutable' offence is paid plus an incentive of R32 when/if the fine is paid.....the important issue is the statement that onlt 35% of prosecutable offences get paid. I wonder if this is a net positive or negative contribution to CoJ's cashflow, or is it just another gravy train.

  • CarlS - 2011-11-11 12:53

    The 13bn is probably based on the rates calculation of the primary school class that were running JHB's rates for the past few years. In reality it's probably closer to R0. The party had to end sometime for the ANC.

  • PilgrimX - 2011-11-11 15:05

    Isn’t it amazing how the ANC government and youth league can make “millions” and “billions” sound like small change?

  • Gilad - 2011-11-11 19:10

    Went to try sort of their theft of my money with erroneous electricity bills and systems that dont work. I called at 1 was told they open till 5. I get there and Im told i cant come in they in a meeting come back tomorrow. clowns.

  • TembaVJ - 2011-11-24 05:52

    Hey you lot in SA being ruled by apes, get out or stand up for your country... fight god damit. All the whites do is sit and complain while the apes steal everything... well they have already stolen everything, now they are stealing on credit. Mark my words the engine will stop working soon. And guess who they will blame...

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