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Msunduzi Municipality’s aggressive campaign to collect money owed for services earns millions

An aerial view of Pietermaritzburg City Hall

Pietermaritzburg City Hall, home of the Msunduzi Municipality. Picture: Shelley Kjonstad

Published Sep 5, 2023


Durban - The continuing and aggressive campaign to collect money owed for services to the Msunduzi Municipality has earned the city close to R13 million recently.

The city started the campaign last year where it aimed to collect close to R500m. The campaign involves cutting services to residents and businesses that owe for rates, water and electricity.

In a statement on Tuesday, the city said the campaign was continuing to produce results.

“Operation #QoqaMaMillion is on the road today collecting money owed to the municipality by businesses for electricity and water services provided. Businesses have been compliant and are making payments. An amount of just over R13m has been collected today already.”

Last year, “The Mercury” reported on the campaign. The city was on a drive to collect about R5 billion that was owed for rates and services. It said it was owed about R1.2bn for rates alone.

The municipality was merciless in cutting services to those who owed. It cut services to the Imperial Hotel, which at the time owed the municipality more than R3m. It also cut services to a museum it said owed more than R600 000 to the municipality.

Reacting to these disconnections at the time, city residents welcomed the disconnections, saying they were long overdue and that some businesses had taken advantage of the situation.

One resident posted on the city’s Facebook page: “Don't stop, these illegal activities have been going on for too long including public enterprises….”

Another resident said: “Please can you also sort out the paras (homeless people) in the streets and by robots. They are dangerous and often in traffic you have to be careful of them standing in the centre of the road. Getting rid of paras will also boost businesses because no one wants to walk around as they steal from you.”