Debt bill due to City of Cape Town: R7.5 billion for rates and services

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City of Cape Town headquarters in the Cape Town CBD.
City of Cape Town headquarters in the Cape Town CBD.
PHOTO: Duncan Alfreds, News24
  • Cape Town residents and businesses owe the City of Cape Town R7.5 billion in rates and services. 
  • Government entities owe the City R97 million.
  • However, the City has a payment ratio of about 97%, meaning most ratepayers are able to pay their accounts.

Cape Town residents and businesses owe the City of Cape Town R7.5 billion in rates and services as at the end of April.

The bulk of the debt due, but not yet payable, is linked to residential properties at R5.2 billion, followed by business properties with R1.8 billion, and other debts at R450.2 million. 

"There is an increase of R248.5 million in our total debt for April 2022 in comparison to March 2022, due to an increase in the debts in the categories 60 days, 90 days, 150 days and greater than 150 days, as well as increased billings," said mayoral committee member for finance Siseko Mbandezi.

"Although there is an increase in the debts, it is not a significant increase for April 2022. One must look at these debts over a two-month period as debt management actions taken/instituted during April 2022 will show the increase in payments during the following months (May/June)."

The government has also struggled to settle its accounts. The total amount outstanding for government entities, on 30 April, was R97 million. 

The City said in its financial monitoring report:

The government accounts reflect an overall credit of R31.2 million due to a further decrease in the credit of the Departments of Transport and Public Works and an increase in the debt of the Departments of Education, Health, Human Settlements and Cultural Affairs and Sport.

It said the relevant departments were being engaged to settle the accounts in arrears and monthly meetings had been scheduled with the relevant departments and the provincial treasury.

Mbandezi said the City had an excellent payment ratio of about 97%, which indicated that most ratepayers were able to pay their accounts.

READ | City of Cape Town to write off debts worth R4bn

"Without the revenue from rates and services, we would not be able to provide services and we thank those residents who are paying their accounts," he said. 

STOP COCT founder Sandra Dickson said the total R7.5 billion outstanding debt owed to the City was lower than a year ago due to the writing off of debt by the City. 

"However, the City vows to strictly follow its debt collection policy, which includes the sale in execution of a property to recover municipal debts. The total debt written off by the City since 2021 amounts to just over R2 billion. 

"It is noteworthy that R1.27 billion of this was interest that was charged on accounts that were written off," she said. 

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