Faizel Patel – 20/11/2020
An analyst at the Centre for Risk Analysis says households owe South African municipalities billions of rands in unpaid municipal bills posing a threat to the continuation of basic service delivery.
This comes after municipalities across the country are either bankrupt or on the brink of bankruptcy.
Local Government Revenue and Expenditure preliminary results for the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 reveal that aggregate municipal consumer debts amounted to R191.5 billion.
Speaking to Radio Islam, analyst Twanda Makombo says the City of Johannesburg is among those municipalities which are facing serious economic woes.
“The city of Johannesburg released a press statement admitting indeed their billing system was in chaos. The last time I checked, the city had about thirty-billion rand in unpaid residential abuse. But looking at aggregate of consumer debt, about R191.5 billion as indicated by the National Treasury, we are convinced that our municipalities are in financial difficulty.”
Makhombo says poverty and unemployment are the chief contributors to many households defaulting on their municipal bills.
“Without a reliable source of income, it’s difficult for anyone to be able to manage to pay their debts in time or even to pay their debts at all.”
Makhombo says while he unsure if municipalities have terminated services to households who have not paid their municipal bills, he has stressed that continued defaulting on the payments or accumulating of debt will have an impact on service delivery.
Listen to the interview with Twanda Makombo