Councils owed billions in debt

2010-12-02 16:43

Pretoria - Municipalities are owed a staggering R37.7bn by households, while the government owes them about R3.4bn, according to a report released by the National Treasury on Thursday.

It showed that total aggregated consumer debt to municipalities and metros stood at R62.3bn as at September 30.

Of this, the government accounted for R3.4bn or 5.5%.

Households accounted for the largest component, at R37.7bn or 60.6% of the total.

The budget statement for local government for the first quarter of the 2010/11 financial year showed metropolitan municipalities were owed a total of R35.4bn at September 30.

This is an increase of R3.9bn or 12.4% from the same period last year. The biggest percentage growth from the previous year was in the City of Johannesburg, where it went up 23.5% or R2bn.

Nelson Mandela Bay's (Port Elizabeth's) debtors' book increased 16.5% or R275m, the Ekurhuleni metro's 15.1% or R1.1bn and Cape Town's by 11.8% or R558m.

The statement covers revenue and expenditure, and conditional grant spending of municipalities for the period July 1 to September 30 2010.

  • Skande - 2010-12-02 17:23

    If the stop giving free services and cut people off who do not pay this wouldn't happen but they are not allow to cut of a Black person power in this country....its racist to do this for some reason.

  • Wins - 2010-12-02 17:29

    Why was this allowed. If I skip one month, my power will be disconnected. And yes, the majority depth will be written off, but the loyal idiot always paying their accounts will be paying these depths back in the famous form of increases in rates. Fire the lot!!!!

  • Dilligaf - 2010-12-02 17:40

    Perhaps the problem lies squarely with the tragic level of incompetence at the level of some municipalities. I have been trying to get a rates statement from Tshwane for 2 apartments for 2 years now. Not once have I received a reply. But they do very kindly send me a copy of the statement for the entire complex (addressed to the body corporate). When they ask me for interest or penalties, which they will one day, then we start to box.

  • B Harris - 2010-12-02 17:53

    This month alone we have not received invoices for three properties. In addition we have three pending legal actions with Jhb and when we evetually get a court date we know we will win. Going to the billing departments of the JHB council is akin to the loony bin. Wha a bunch of idiots.

  • croix - 2010-12-02 18:29

    It is called : "MANAGEMENT" If there's no INCOME, there can be no SERVICES.....

  • Joe39 - 2010-12-02 18:31

    It will be interesting to make a comparison with todays percentive debt against say 1990!

  • Steve - 2010-12-02 18:53

    One wonders how much is REALLY owed. We received an electricity bill from Joburg Power for R29,000 - we use about R5-6,000's worth of power each month. Unusually, it had supposedly read our meter - meter readings are a rare event these days. When we checked the reading we found that it had been grossly over-read. We have given up trying to contact the "service provider" since the designated phone is never answered. So we decided to pay a realistic amount each month, which we calculated from the sliding scale and our own readings. We have now received a threat that our power will be cut. Meanwhile, I find from talking to my palls at work that we're not alone with this problem - not by any means. The parlous state of afairs almost beggars belief. We have never ever failed to pay any accounts and as a family have a flawless credit rating. But unfortunately it seems the only remedy is to play the same game as the pathetic municipality. We sought legal advice in this matter and were advised that while the law firm we contacted would be willing to be paid to "go after" these people, it informed us that it would be a waste of our money... MY GOD, what a truely desperate and pathetic situation we find ourselves in.

  • C Evans - 2010-12-02 23:57

    Hey Skanke: My tenants, who are white Afrikaners, didn't pay their power for a YEAR and were never disconected. What would that be: Reverse racism? I say it is just plain lousy management.

  • cvdm - 2010-12-03 06:49

    I do own joburg about 23 months for not paying property tax or refuse removal. Because they simply could not generate an account. Fortunately I do have for the record; a file as thick as the bible with correspondance, acknowledgements of receipt, undertakings to contact me soon and latest an acknowledgement informing me that the matter is now with Deputy Director's VIP Team, ect. But Unfortunately No Account!!!

  • Dewald - 2010-12-03 08:11

    Onder aan my rekening staan: Indien die uitstaande bedrag nie op die betaal datum vereffen is kan die dienste sonder kennis beeindig word". Dit is 'n lee erf. Ek weier om R248 per maand vir beskikbaarheid van dienste te betaal wat ek nie gebruik nie.

  • reality check - 2010-12-03 08:32

    - Interesting number - R40bn - about the same number it cost to host the SWC. Makes you think. In the end taxpayers were always going to foot the bill for this extravagance - govt. has sneakily pushed the debt onto consumers through municipal charges. Citizens have had enough and surely soon a tax/ rates boycot will occur. This govt. is shambolic. Zimbabwe anyone ?

  • bheki - 2010-12-03 12:37

    How do you continue giving services when you are not paid for delivering. Are we (municpaility) not afraid to take action because our political heads will lose election? My proposal will be that each ward councillor should account for non payment in his ward otherwise his/her ward will not get services that are required if payment is not forthcoming. Then they will be worthy to be paid also.

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