Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has written off nearly R100 million as bad debt in one month alone.
Explaining the write-off of R97 577 627, Trevor Blake, the City’s director of revenue, said in a financial performance report in March properties with values up to R200 000 had R23 545 290 written off and those in the R200 001 to R300 000 band had R10 207 622 debt declared as bad.
Altogether, R5 902 110 was written off in respect of indigent users. “The total amount of debt written off for the month of March 2018 also includes amounts charged against indigent properties.
“Where debts were previously written off, however, accumulation of debt recurred as a result of water management meters not being set (administration error) and as a result of the water management devices’ communication failure (technical error),” Cape Chamber of Commerce chairperson Janine Myburgh said the City simply had to reduce its costs.
“City staff are all well-paid and the executive directors, for instance, are all due for a 7.1% increase, to take their salary packages to about R3.2 million a year and more in the case of the municipal manager and the executive director of finance. Pay increases like this are simply crazy and something drastic has to be done,” she said.
Myburgh said it should be possible to cut costs in the vast municipal bureaucracy, which now numbers more than 27 000 if temporary staff are included.