South African currency, the Rand. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
South African currency, the Rand. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Report reveals Msunduzi Municipality staff, councillors owe millions for services as the city grapples with ballooning debt

By Thami Magubane Time of article published May 5, 2021

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DURBAN - STAFF members in the Msunduzi Municipality owe the council more than R4 million.

The staff, including councillors and the employees of the municipality, owe a combined R4.4 million for rates and services.

A confidential report on the matter, which was tabled before a full council recently, shows that the officials are in debt to the municipality to the tune of R4.1 million and councillors owe about R290 000.

In November, the council deducted more than R1 million from the salaries of these employees and about R40 000 from councillors for the debt.

Councillors and officials are not allowed to be in arrears with the municipality for a period longer than three months according to the Municipal Systems Act.

The matter has raised concerns among opposition party councillors in the past who said it was improper for the councillors to be in debt with the municipality and that sent a wrong message to the ratepayers.

The municipality is faced with ballooning debt, it recently revealed that the money owed to it by ratepayers was now approaching R5 billion and it has hired debt collectors to collect from residents.

It is looking to recover at least one billion of this money so it can use to fix the electricity infrastructure.

It was not immediately clear how many people are in arrears, in the case of the employees, the report showed that the debt of more than a million rand of the debt was almost a year old.

Municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said those in arrears should come forward to make arrangements to pay and the money is then deducted from their salaries.

THE MERCURY

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