Tshwane debtors’ book balloons to R23bn

Tshwane debtors’ book balloons to R23bn

Tshwane Mayor Cilliers Brink says the city will have to win the battle against illegal water and electricity connections if it wants to fix the city’s finances.

Stack of silver coins with trading chart
Stack of silver coins with trading chart/ iStock

Brink briefed the media on Monday on the city's financial outlook.

He said defective meters and illegal connections are leaving the city out of pocket, with municipal debts ballooning to R23.3 billion.

The city aims to collect the outstanding debt in the next six months.

Last week, 70 residents were disconnected from the City of Tshwane's electricity grid and water supply for defaulting on the payment of their municipal bills.

The disconnections formed part of the ongoing Ya Tima revenue collection campaign, which targets customers who fail to pay their municipal bills.

Brink said the city aims to increase its revenue and cut spending by R1 billion a month over the next six months.

“What we have to our advantage is an R23.3 billion debtors’ book that we aim to turn into cash. If a quarter of this debtor’s book is collectable, it is collectable in the next six months. If we succeed, we will improve our cash flow, our Eskom account, as well as our credibility and creditworthiness.

“This also buys us the time to fix problems with tariffs and to achieve better value for money in supply chain management. If we do not succeed, we will have to make a number of fundamental changes to the way we deliver services by the end of June 2024 when a new budget must be adopted.”

Brink said too few households and businesses are being metered due to defective meters and illegal connections.

“Of those whose consumption is being metered, too few receive accurate bills or have their disputes resolved in time. Of the total number who are being billed, too few actually pay their bills because our credit control and debt collection system is ineffective. So, you can see the further you go down this spiral, the less money that is due to the city is actually received in our bank account.

“By fixing each one of these aspects (circles) of our revenue value chain, we will be able to achieve financial recovery. Some of the repairs can be done sooner and others later. Bulk purchases and tariffs will take a little longer, while metering, billing, credit control and debt collection are in our immediate focus.”


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