City debt up to R928?mln

2011-09-22 00:00

DEBT owed to Msunduzi Municipality has spiralled to R928 million from R645 million in June.

Mike Tarr, chair of the city’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa), said that of the total, R468 million is owed for electricity and R207 million is outstanding in property rates.

Tarr, the previous mayor, said, “We need to be honest about our financial situation in order for us be able to get help in improving the current financial status.”

If the situation continues it might impact negatively on getting more funding from the government during the mid-term budget review.

Tarr added, “Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan said if municipalities fail to collect their debts, then how do they expect the government to issue more funding until they sort out their debt collection.

“We need to set targets and a road map which will be able to show us where we are and where we are going,” said Tarr.

He said the municipality needs to have specific programmes in order to reduce this problem.

“I am going to do a memo tonight and present it to the full council and we need to have a service delivery budget implementation plan that will monitor how we manage the integrated development plan.”

Other members of the committee complained about having unqualified people holding senior managerial positions, and that the internal auditors were supposed to finalise a financial report by August 30, but have not.

Tarr said the auditors are short-staffed.

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