Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube is embarking on a campaign to recover over R13 billion owed by businesses and consumers to municipalities.
Lennox Mabaso, Cogta spokesperson said Dube-Ncube, together with KZN mayors, launch the “#Your Levies Change Lives Campaign” in eDumbe (Paulpietersburg) on Friday.
In a statement on Thursday, 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 KZN, have recently been threatened with disconnections by Eskom due to non-payment which arises from the fact that businesses and consumers are 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,” she said.
This will see defaulters, whether in business or the state, being visited by dignitaries tomorrow 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 also be placed on government debts, including debts owed to municipalities by government departments, state employees, councillors, among others.
According to the statement, based on the audited financial results, municipalities in KZN are collectively owed R7.9 billion in household debts; R3.5 billion in commercial debt; R735 million in government debts and R413 million in other debts such as traffic fines.
The Daily News reported last year that at the end of the 2015/16 financial year ratepayers owed eThekwini Municipality about R2 billion in unpaid rates and services.