Gauteng municipalities owe Eskom R9.75bn in outstanding debt – Maile
Only three municipalities in the province reported no overdue accounts.
Gauteng MEC for cooperative governance Lebogang Maile. Picture: Gallo Images
The outstanding amount owed to Eskom by Gauteng’s municipalities increased from R9.49 billion to R9.75 billion as of 13 April 2022.
Gauteng Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Lebogang Maile revealed this on Monday, during a media briefing on the state of municipalities in the province.
Debt owed to Eskom
The MEC said only three municipalities reported no overdue accounts. These were the City of Ekurhuleni as well as Lesedi and Midvaal local municipalities.
Maile said the Merafong City Local Municipality in the West Rand continued to make payments on a weekly basis to address the outstanding debt owed to Eskom after proposing a new payment plan recently.
“Cogta in the province together with Gauteng provincial treasury, continues to engage Eskom for amicable solutions in dealing with the overdue debt owed by Gauteng municipalities,” he said.
Maile said at last count, the outstanding amount owed by municipalities to Rand Water increased from R2.94 billion to R3.15 billion.
The City of Johannesburg and Midvaal Local Municipality were reported to have only current accounts, according to Rand Water.
“The City of Ekurhuleni is on the extended payment term relief programme to pay 70% of the bill and settle the 30% within 45 days.
“The city is adhering to the relief options terms and conditions. Rand Water attached Emfuleni’s bank account in December 2021 but that was changed after a payment of R252 million was made by the municipality.”
“Rand Water further applied to attach immovable assets for the remaining balance owed by Emfuleni. Discussions with Rand Water continue in seeking a long-term solution on the outstanding account.”
Maile said Merafong municipality had a 36 months payment arrangement with Rand Water. However, the municipality was not honouring the payment arrangement.
“The municipality was served with a notice of late payment letter on 5 November 2021, which it still has not responded to, although the municipality did pay an amount of R3 million in February 2022.
“Rand West City is on a 12 months interest free long-term option, although the municipality is not honouring the payment arrangement entered into with Rand Water,” he said.
Maile added that Rand West met on a weekly basis with Eskom, the Gauteng provincial treasury and Cogta in the province on its outstanding debt.
The MEC said the outstanding amount owed by Gauteng provincial government departments to provincial municipalities for rates and services was R449 million.
He said Cogta along with the provincial treasury established a Debt Management Committee (DMC) to facilitate a process of resolving government debt.
“The DMC has managed to facilitate payments to municipalities amounting to R 12.9 billion, with the biggest beneficiary being the City of Johannesburg at R 5, 6 billion, followed by the City of Tshwane at R3, 3 billion.”
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe