Loading...
See More

Gordhan: Rates boycott unacceptable

Sep 14 2011 11:21 Sapa

Related Articles

Municipalities lousy debt collectors

Debt to metro councils rises

Business opposes new tax by metros

Samwu denies strike boycott

Council workers hold out for higher offer

Municipal workers lower wage demands

 
Cape Town - It is "totally unacceptable" for ratepayer groups to refuse to pay their rates and place their money in trust accounts, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.

"This is totally unacceptable behaviour," Gordhan told media in a briefing on the local government budgets and expenditure review.

"It is something we want to engage with Salga (the SA Local Government Association) on and get a clear message through that if you live in South Africa you are a South African citizen, you are using municipal services - you pay for them."

Gordhan said the emerging "trend" shown by ratepayer groups was something that required "very strong discussions".

"This kind of non-compliance with the law is not acceptable at all."

He said many of the issues ratepayers had with their municipalities could be resolved "the South African way".

"We sit around the table, we say what our challenges are and we find practical solutions to them. Creating tension and antagonism doesn't help."

Gordhan said the Treasury would be working with Salga and "bigger municipalities" to get more assertive debt collection processes and to write off debt that was "uncollectable".

He said given the fiscal constraints faced by the government, political and administrative leaders had to do more to cut down on "improper" procurement practices and on fraud and corruption.

"There is no doubt much more could be done in this area than is being done," he said.

The Treasury "looked forward" to working with the auditor general and accountant general on putting "more stringent requirements in place" and getting better cooperation from officials and political leaders to ensure that taxpayers and ratepayers money was not "frittered away" without proper justification.

Municipalities, he said, had to do more to ensure they took decisions that ensured better quality spending.

"Municipalities need to focus on delivering services, on building their capacity, on building economic infrastructure, on investing the right amount in capital infrastructure and on both maintenance on infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure."

They also had to "forget the frills" such as buying a "brand new Mercedes or anything else like that".

"That will make a significant contribution to enabling municipalities to enable the national fiscus to cope with some of the stresses and strains of the very uncertain economic environment in which we are living."
pravin gordhan  |  municipalities  |  salga
NEXT ON FIN24X

 
 
 

Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
98 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...
Loading...