Huge Eskom debt has been paid

2010-03-29 00:00

AS part of administrator Johann Mettler’s turnaround plan for Msunduzi Municipality, the city’s R42 million debt to Eskom has been paid.

Another part of the strategy is an aggressive debt-collecting campaign to recoup the more than R600 million owed to the municipality.

Mettler said a draft turnaround plan, outlining strategies to repay debts and collect money owed, will be presented to the provincial government and the council’s executive committee.

“The Eskom debt [which was accumulating a daily interest of between R10 000 and R15 000] was settled last Tuesday, after meetings between us and Eskom representatives to sort out some insufficient information on the invoices. We are also talking to them about the waiving of the interest,” said Mettler.

In the first step towards recouping money owed, Mettler said the municipality has approached the Provincial Treasury to assist in collecting over R91 million outstanding from provincial departments.

“The rest of the R600 million is owed through rates and other services rendered to different sectors by the council. We are going to embark on an aggressive debt-collection campaign to ensure that we get what we are owed,” he said.

Mettler criticised the previous administration for its “weak credit-control system”.

In a bid to cut down on expenditure, Mettler has introduced restrictions on cellphone and 3G card usage, and all expenditure needs his approval.

Musunduzi Municipality was put under Mettler’s administration by Corporate Governance MEC Nomusa Dube.

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