Police stations owe Public Works R26m for water and electricity
Cape Town - Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille has revealed that over 1 000 police stations owe her department more than R26 million in unpaid water and electricity.
De Lille said the amount excluded other services rendered such as refuse, sanitation and property rates.
She said this in a written response to parliamentary questions from DA MP Michele Clarke, who asked about the total number of police stations that have outstanding service accounts water and electricity usages.
Clarke also asked which provinces the specified stations were located in and the relevant details of the outstanding amounts with regard to each of the stations.
De Lille said her department was responsible for paying municipal services on behalf of client departments, including the SAPS.
She explained that the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) receives monthly municipal accounts, verifies the accuracy of the property listed and before the invoices are processed.
“At the end of the month, a report is drawn from the system for all payments made on behalf of client department and invoices are issued against client departments, such as SAPS, to pay DPWI within 30 days.
“It takes an average of over 90 days for client departments to settle their invoices with DPWI as part of recovery on payments made on behalf of clients departments.”
De Lille also said 1 086 police stations owed R6 1919 466.12 in outstanding water accounts and R18 252 461.26 in outstanding electricity accounts.
Her responses showed that 315 police stations in the Western Cape have outstanding debts, followed by Gauteng with 139, North West 118, Northern Cape 116 and Limpopo 109.
The Eastern Cape has the least police stations owing for water and electricity at 18.
Free State led the pack in term of the amount owed for electricity with R5 406 809.17 and is followed by North West at R3 848 218.12.
In terms of outstanding water accounts, Gauteng owes R 1 936 990.52, followed by Western Cape with R985 000 debt.
“There are other services being rendered by DPWI such as refuse, sanitation and property rates that are being serviced and paid on a monthly basis by the department,” De Lille said.
She said payments of invoices to suppliers and service providers, including municipalities, on services rendered remained key deliverables for her department and the Ministry.
She, however, said in some instances, the outstanding accounts included certain charges where some municipalities have levied interest on certain accounts as a result of overdue accounts while in actual fact payments were made and not timeously allocated by municipalities.
De Lille also said her department continued to have regular sessions about timeous allocations of monies paid and corrections of incorrect billed services with municipalities.
“The persistent challenge experienced by the department is where some municipalities do not have adequate ICT infrastructure to remotely connect and be able to address some queries raised by the department related to incorrect statements and/or outstanding amounts.”
She stated that her department’s commitment was to ensure that all valid invoices were settled within 30 days on receipt of statements and invoices or the agreed period with stakeholders.