Durban - Msunduzi Municipality will enlist the assistance of the police, as it looks to disconnect thousands of customers who are not paying for municipal services, and deal with illegal connections.
At a council meeting this week, the municipality’s chief financial officer, Nelly Ngcobo, indicated that they were placing more focus on businesses and residential customers in a bid to improve revenue collection.
The assistance of SAPS is said to be linked to recent incidents where municipal staff were chased away in two wards by community members who were assisted by local councillors.
According to Ngcobo, the municipality managed to collect over R80 million from government departments in the past month, but there was room for improvement with special focus on businesses and households.
She said SAPS had agreed to provide support to the municipality when disconnections were conducted.
“Yes, they have agreed, but they want an operational plan so the meeting with them is to discuss exactly that,” she said.
Areas such as Imbali Township and Greater Edendale have been identified as troublesome spots, with a high number of people using municipal services without paying, according to the municipality.
Msunduzi city manager Lulamile Mapholoba said while the city’s cash coverage had improved, it had not reached the levels they wanted and this was the reason for stepping up their revenue collection efforts.
The municipality is also conducting an audit to determine if all councillors and municipal staff are paying their municipal bills.