Durban owed R5.7bn in outstanding bills

2012-06-06 12:45

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC Ina Cronje announced that Durban was owed at least R5.7bn, mostly in outstanding rates and water bills, the Mercury reported on Wednesday.

Cronje said eThekwini had the highest total outstanding debt, followed by Umgungundlovu with a debt of R1.4bn, Amajuba R770.3m and Uthukela R625.6m.

The R5.7bn owed to the eThekwini municipality was part of a larger total of R10.2bn in outstanding debt owed to 58 municipalities around the province.

According to the Mercury, 75% of the total debt had been outstanding for more than three months in all KwaZulu-Natal municipalities.

"This debt may be irrecoverable and may have to be subsequently written off," Cronje was quoted as saying in the paper.

  • Marius Koekemoer - 2012-06-06 12:57

    So this is why it takes more than 3 months to get your deposit back.

      Richard - 2012-06-06 13:21

      Hi Marius you are an extremely lucky person. I sold my house in JHB 10 years ago and do date have not got my deposit back. Worse, I had to pay a clearance figure for 6 months in advance on top of it which I also never got back. When I phone now they have no record of the account.

      toofaan.monsoon - 2012-06-06 13:40

      Actually, you're both lucky. An evaluator came into my house, made some notes and then listed my house as Vacant property but valued as a built up house. My rates tripled and everytime I queried it, I was told to pay up and they will correct and reverse charges. After just over a year, they got the catagorisation right and my rates came down, but I've never got my money back. These guys have no idea how to run their systems.

  • don.maciver - 2012-06-06 13:10

    Don't believe it for a moment. They are in a mess like all other metros/municipalities. They keep charging rates etc on properties transferred over a year ago and then add interest! It will take years of concentrated effort to resolve but with current staff/skill levels it will never happen.

  • Heinrich - 2012-06-06 13:16

    Question: will it be halved or even be 75% less if you check through all the accounts and closed all the non existing ones. Like Rubberdog says. I'm still getting 2 electricity accounts one on the previous owners of my house name and one of own. I have no interest in reporting this since I am getting a correct electricity bill under may name and address.

  • anthro45 - 2012-06-06 13:18

    But if it was me, all my sevices would have been cut off already.

  • Richard - 2012-06-06 13:18

    Boring. First question is whether the accounts are accurate considering that people have received accounts worth 10 years of consumption. Secondly nothing has been done to remedy the accounting side of things so how can we even trust the figures quoted. Thirdly if the accounts or at least some of them are accurate why not cut the services. Truth is that they are all a mess and have no idea who owes what. Again we go back to the bigger picture of pure incompetence. Just fire the whole lot and get people on board that can actually run the system.

  • Paul - 2012-06-06 13:19

    All the metros/municipalities, whatevers are in the same boat! Now they CAN blame the past, they have always been given every thing!!! NOW try to charge them and collect!?!?!?

  • Koos - 2012-06-06 13:20

    As long as you supply people with electricity and water and they don't pay for it the debt will grow. It is not rocket science. If you write it off you can start at R0.00 again, until next time.

  • Sonja - 2012-06-06 13:22

    hang on a minute. If i dont pay my rates, my electricity is cut off (unmercilessly)- my water is supply is shut off, and my house will get auctioned off. ..... oh white! my mistake.

      Koos - 2012-06-06 15:53

      Welcome to the new South Africa.

      Deepchund - 2012-06-06 19:51

      Sonja, your comment applies to whites,Indians and Coloureds. It's time we got together and marched to the Local Govt Offices and cause mayhem. The faithful payers are subsiding the "free riders".

  • mikenortje - 2012-06-06 13:24

    Simple solution, if your rates / water not up to date you can't vote in local gov elections.

      Sonja - 2012-06-06 13:43

      hahaha just imagine! great idea though. trouble is, the DA would rule with a 90% majority.

      Dix - 2012-06-06 14:07

      How can mec owe such alot amount of money as part of goverment project..shame to the leaders.

  • Paddy - 2012-06-06 13:37

    And Sutcliffe probably got a bonus.

  • nigel.burgess.52 - 2012-06-06 13:49

    Don't care. If they're stupid enough to keep supplying services to people who habitually don't pay then deal with it.

  • patrickflynn73 - 2012-06-06 13:53

    Only one solution to this... vote DA in teh next elections, they'll get this city back up and running. Durban is an excellent holiday destination and potential to have a booming film industry here which will put Durban on the international map! Lets do this!

  • Rob - 2012-06-06 13:56

    I wonder.....when my property is taking by the land grabbers will I have to settle the outstanding accounts? Just trolling!

  • stephanvn - 2012-06-06 14:29

    Rates and water have become too expensive and people cannot afford it anymore. In 7 years my eThekwini water & lights bill went from R600 or R700 to R2000 / month! I know that's probably not the main cause for this huge outstanding amount but must play a big part as people can fall behind easily in payments ....

  • phatudi.nathaniel - 2012-06-06 14:50

    Stupid government and its stupid voters

      Koos - 2012-06-06 15:54


      chanki.modise - 2012-06-07 05:56

      Dude leave us with our stupit government no one is forcing you to stay here

      chanki.modise - 2012-06-07 05:57

      Dude leave us with our stupit government no one is forcing you to stay here

      chanki.modise - 2012-06-07 05:57

      Dude leave us with our stupit government no one is forcing you to stay here

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-06-06 15:22

    Is it one of those system glich figures that resulted in the "high" amounts just like City of JHB and Ekurhuleni or is it because the services are suppose to be "free"? These days one cannot halp but wonder.

  • andrew.mckenzie.566 - 2012-06-07 13:27

    Only 3 months. I have been chasing them for over a year!I got R450 of R1850.00 back. No statement, no explantion - no response to my queries (by registred letter).

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