Johannesburg – Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said on Wednesday that a total of about R3 billion had been collected in revenue in March 2017.

During the State of the City Address at the newly built council chambers in Johannesburg, which cost the previous city administration R360 million, Mashaba said that a long term solution for flawed billing was essential to improve the relationship with the residents of the city as well as to improve revenue collection.

"During the month of March 2017 we collected just over R3 billion in revenue. Our reality is that we have to collect more revenue," Mashaba said.

"The budget amount was R2.6 billion and it is the first time that the city has ever gone beyond the R3 billion mark."

To ensure combating the billing crisis, Mashaba said that there were four elements that were a focus point which included the development of the indigent list and the system that ensures that the poorest recieved free basic services without charge as well as the improvement of revenue collection.

The mayor added that 17 696 potholes were repaired in March alone,despite the R5.8 million backlog in road repairs and maintenance in the city. Mashaba said that he declared war on the potholes in the city and was prioritising the repair of failing road surfaces.

"Through our adjustment budget, we provided an additional R88 million in funding to the Johannesburg Roads Agency." "This was to procure the materials and personnel to address these vital repairs," the mayor said.

As part of his 'Ten Point Plan', Mashaba said the fourth element focused on creating a professional civil service that served the residents of Johannesburg with pride.

"In light of the priority of Skills Audit, soon after taking office we initiated an independent skills audit to ensure that every manager is in their position because of what they know and not who they knew."

Africa News Agency