JOHANNESBURG - The city of Johannesburg, run by a coalition led by the main opposition Democratic Alliance, said on Thursday it had collected a record R3.6 billion for rates and service charges in August, surpassing the budgeted target by R400 million.

DA mayor Herman Mashaba said there had been a sustained improvement in the city’s billing and collections over the past four months, with average monthly collections of R3.3billion from May to August.

He said the previous administration of the national ruling African National Congress had its highest average monthly collection at R2.8 billion by comparison.

"This performance has been possible due to the implementation of a focused, multi-disciplinary approach to billing and collection management," Mashaba said.

"The city remains focused on targeting those who have not paid for rates and services, whilst clearly having the means to have done so. The success of Operation Buya Mthetho in this regard has been excellent, collecting over R707 million over the past 7 months."

Mashaba said the city had tackled its debtors book, which stood at over R18 billion, and this was now producing results. 

"With over 85 percent of the city’s operating budget derived from its own revenue generation, our ability to address the service delivery failures that plague our residents is wholly dependent on revenue collection," he added.

- African News Agency (ANA)