Schools owe Ugu MILLIONS

2015-09-24 06:00

IT has been revealed that a large number of schools around Ugu are falling behind with their municipal services payments.

Collectively, these schools owe Ugu District Municipality­ over R2.1 million.

Ugu spokesperson, France Zama confirmed this and said not paying for municipal services cripples the municipality’s ability to provide adequate services.

According to KwaZulu-Natal Head of Department: Education, Dr Nkosinathi Sishi­, funds are released by the department to schools to pay their own municipal accounts.

“These schools have a Section 21 status.

“Principals are informed to prioritise the payment of municipal accounts when allocations are released,” said Sishi.

Zama said the municipality is currently engaging the Department of Education through various inter-governmental structures in an attempt to collect outstanding debt.

“In terms of Section 44 of the Municipal Finance Management­ Act, a clear directive­ is outlined on how municipalities should deal with financial disputes that arise between government departments as is the case in this regard,” said Zama.

He added that there are mechanisms that exists at both district and provincial level created to quantify levels­ of inter-governmental debt.

“As spheres of government we are often encouraged to utilise inter-governmental structures in resolving disputes over owed debts by government department.”

Because of this Zama said Ugu will not divulge names of schools that are implicated.

Sishi said the department’s legal team is working on stripping the schools that default continuously of their Section 21 status

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