Growing debt hinders delivery

2018-07-25 06:01
PHOTO: Nkosinathi dubeiLembe speaker Lucky Makhathini and technicians inspect water meters in Sundumbili.

PHOTO: Nkosinathi dubeiLembe speaker Lucky Makhathini and technicians inspect water meters in Sundumbili.

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A THREE day revenue enhancement campaign was held at the Sundumbili Township on Friday, July 13.

The initiative, a joint effort between iLembe District and Mandeni Local municipalities, aims to encourage residents to pay for rates and levies and forms part of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance’s on-going Revenue Enhancement Campaign, themed “Pay Your Levies — Nothing for Mahhala”.

The campaign seeks to encourage communities to pay their dues for municipal services which are a crucial part of municipal revenue.

Mayor Sduduzo Gumede, along with iLembe council speaker Lucky Makhathini, joined officials from both Mandeni and iLembe on the door to door campaign targeting Wards seven, 13, 14 and 15 in Sundumbili Township, to understand challenges that customers experience in water and electricity provisions and to encourage them to pay for municipal services.

The four targeted wards currently owe iLembe a whopping R 22 995 931.51.

On Sunday, the delegations visited the KwaMsindisi Church, the Sunday Lutheran Church, the Assemblies of God Church, and the Methodist Church in Sundumbili, to encourage congregants to pay for municipal services.

The church visits were then followed by a community event in Sibusisiwe Hall on the same day, to urge residents and ratepayers to make their payments.

Speaking at the event, Mandeni Mayor Siphesihle Zulu said that, even though the municipalities receive grants from national and provincial government, a huge percentage of money required to run the municipalities is the money from residents and ratepayers.

“We have a huge task, as government, of encouraging the community to pay, but this campaign is not just about urging people to pay. We also had the opportunity to listen to your concerns, through the door-to-door activity, and that is where we realised that a lot of our residents have problems but are just not coming forward with those problems, and that’s mostly why they are in debt,” said Zulu.

Addressing the community, iLembe District Mayor Sduduzo Gumede revealed that the Mandeni community, including business, households, government departments and local municipalities, owed the district more than R 20 million.

“A big debt comes from our domestic users and it amounts to R 22 995 931.5. Of this amount, Ward seven owes R 892 284.54 (you will see the amounts will keep on increasing); Ward 13 is owing R 2 474 488.40; Ward 14 is owing R 6 202 745.43; and Ward 15 – and this is the biggest debt in all the four wards we have targeted — Ward 15 is owing R 13 425 479.14,” said the mayor.

The district mayor said the issue of non-payment is a big problem in this district because consumers have formed a culture of non-payment and this hinders service delivery.

The iLembe Family of Municipalities is rolling out various revenue enhancement programmes in the district. The next stop for this important campaign will be KwaDukuza, where the campaign will be specifically targeting residents.

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