No to non-payment

2015-09-02 06:00
SEBENZILE NGANGELIZWE, mayor of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality.
 Photos: Teboho Setena

SEBENZILE NGANGELIZWE, mayor of the Matjhabeng Local Municipality. Photos: Teboho Setena

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THE cash-strapped Matjhabeng Local Municipality is contemplating legal action against all non-paying consumers.

This comes after Sedibeng Water threatened to cut the supply of drinking water to the municipality because of their failure to settle a huge bill.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, 25 August, the municipality stated it owed the supplier more than R1 billion due to unpaid debt by consumers. The municipality further stated it was no longer able to render free services.

According to the statement it is owed R1,6 billion by residents, businesses, government departments, schools and farms. In an effort to retrieve the outstanding debts from consumers, it has started to interrupt the water supply of those guilty of non-payment.

Consumers have received notices via SMS about the municipality’s intention to institute credit control action against defaulters. Kgojane Matutle, Matjhabeng spokesperson, said these notices were issued from Thursday (27/08). He said these were final notices.

Matutle said the municipality’s deadline to pay Sedibeng Water was Monday (31/08).

“From 1 September were are leaving no stone unturned as we will cut off everyone who owes both water and electricity. It is unfair for paying consumers to be cut off when service providers withdraw its supply to Matjhabeng due to accumulating debt by those consumers who continue to be subsidised by honest citizens,” said Matutle.

The municipality has announced that it would apply a 20% water restriction to Matjhabeng, pending payment of current accounts. If the payment is not increased the situation will be intensified.

In a statement, Thabiso Tsoaeli, acting municipal manager, said the financial situation of Matjhabeng was serious and needed to be treated as such.

“This applies to everyone X employees, the community and the business sector. I need to inform consumers that as a result of our financial situation, we are unable to meet some of our financial commitments, especially to key creditors such as Sedibeng Water,” Tsoaeli said.

Sebenzile Ngangelizwe, mayor of Matjha-beng, was said to be engaged in talks with Sedibeng Water Board chairperson David Dikoko in an attempt to dissuade the board to cut off the water supply completely

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