Pretoria – Government departments and residents owe the City of Tshwane nearly R9bn for services, mayor Solly Msimanga said on Tuesday.Of this amount, as at June 30, 2016, an estimated R5.9bn, or 68%, was uncollectable, he said.The DA took control of the metro from the ANC after the August 3 local government elections.The city’s legal woes included a large number of labour cases relating to suspensions and unfair dismissals, expropriations, and breaches of contracts, he said. The potential liability to the city was estimated to be in excess of R226m."Turning around the city’s finances is our apex priority so that we can deal with the infrastructure that the former administration made no provision for, with respect to preventative infrastructure maintenance for water, for instance."Measures to increase the city’s revenue included getting people to pay their bills on time. Payment levels for January 2016 were at 85%.Government departments had R582m in debt older than 30 days, businesses R1.6bn, and households R4.1bn.The metro closed the financial year with a deficit in excess of R2bn on its operating account.The state of the metro’s finances was affecting its ability to perform basic functions, including service delivery. Far too little money was allocated to preventative maintenance of water infrastructure, which Msimanga said was “almost criminal”.“This is not unique to our water woes and is indicative of the poor and irresponsible use of the city’s money.”He said the previous administration had been too preoccupied with vanity projects such as the City Hall refurbishment, which it botched.