KZN scrambles to recover R13.1-billion in municipal debt

KwaZulu-Natal municipalities are collectively owed R13.1-billion – and provincial authorities are appealing to citizens to get the money back.

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube. File photo
Image: Sunday Times

Cooperative governance and traditional affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube will on Friday launch a campaign to recover the debts‚ dubbed the #YourLeviesChangeLives campaign.

Dube-Ncube and KZN mayors will embark on a massive debt recovery campaign‚ to be launched at the eDumbe municipality.

In a statement ahead of the launch‚ Dube-Ncube said the financial viability of municipalities was being threatened by the failure of stakeholders to honour their civic duties‚ which enabled municipalities to keep their services going.

Municipalities such as eDumbe and four others in the province have been threatened with disconnections by power utility Eskom due to non-payment‚ arising from businesses and consumers perennially defaulting on their payments for services.

“This state of affairs is having a negative impact on municipalities’ ability to maintain their existing infrastructure and install new facilities due to the persistent deficit in revenue collection‚” said Dube-Ncube.

The #YourLeviesChangeLives campaign will see defaulters being visited by dignitaries on Friday with a demand for outstanding payments owed to municipalities.

The campaign will also involve road blocks‚ disconnections and engagements with communities. Some of the focus will be placed on government debts‚ including debts owed to municipalities by government departments‚ state employees and councillors.

Audited financial results have revealed that municipalities are collectively owed R13.1-billion which includes: – R7.9-million for household debts; – R3.5-million for commercial debts; – R735-million in government debts; and – R413-million in other debts‚ such as traffic fines.

Dube-Ncube believes the #YourLeviesChangeLives campaign will be a game-changer in the financial fortunes of KZN municipalities by altering the “attitude and behaviour of those defaulting on municipal service payments”.

BY BONGANI MTHETHWA – TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital

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