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Tshwane it targets R7bn monthly revenue to cover debt

The metro is tackling shopping centres, government institutions, private schools, residents and even corrupt officials.

The Tshwane metro needs to collect a minimum of R7-billion per month in revenue to keep up with the mounting debt and service delivery demands.

This was as the metro proposed to Eskom that it would pay a large sum of its R1.17-billion debt by March.

The metro has also been struggling to keep up to date on its account for basic services by Eskom and Rand Water.

As of January 31, the metro owed Eskom R1,17-billion while its Rand Water account, the water utility, is still owed over R600-million.

“We owe Rand Water for December and January consumption and we have made a payment proposal to settle the December consumption by February 28,” said metro spokesperson Selby Bokaba.

“We have also made a payment proposal to Eskom to pay them a sizeable amount in March.”

#TshwaneYaTima water and electricity disconnection due to non payment continues. Photo: Twitter/COT.

In a bid to make the monthly R7-billion target, shopping centres, government institutions, private schools and residents would be targeted for debt recovery in and around the area.

“We have revived our aggressive revenue collection campaign. The aim is to ensure that we drastically reduce the debtors’ book and collect maximum revenue to enable us to honour our financial obligations.”

Bokaba said the metro could achieve its target easier if officials concentrated on curbing water and electricity theft.

Last week, the metro re-started its aggressive operations in Pretoria central and West, targeting to collect R50-million from illegally connected properties (including a private school) as well as a hair salon, hardware store and a scrapyard that defaulted on their water bills.

#TshwaneYaTima water and electricity disconnection due to non payment continues. Photo: Twitter/COT.

“Naturally, when our customers don’t pay for the services they consume, it becomes difficult for us to pay our creditors hence our resolve to ramp up the disconnection drive to recoup revenue.”

Water leaks, theft and vandalism were also placing strain on the metro’s finances.

“We are also addressing internal leakages where officials are colluding with defaulting customers to illegally reduce or quash debt.

“The officials who are allegedly colluding with customers to defraud the municipality are on our radar and will face dire consequences.”

Bokaba stressed that finances were being bled out further by customers tampering with meters so that they are not being billed for their consumption.

“Vandalism of water and electricity infrastructure is also contributing to our bleeding finances.

We will roll out a campaign soon aimed at educating the public about the importance of paying for services and assisting the municipality to curb vandalism of our infrastructure.”

The Auditor-General (AG) of South Africa recently reported to the council that the metro did not safeguard its assets, which left them prone to vandalism.

The AG said external investigators in November 2021 concluded that various metro sites did not have sufficient controls in place to prevent theft and vandalism of assets.

Former Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said on Thursday that the metro also busted several businesses in the inner city and Pretoria West due to non-payment and illegal connections.

“We largely targeted businesses that have repeatedly failed to pay for services.”

He said the businesses were fined R10-million each for illegal connections.

“The various businesses, together with a government department, owe the metro about R50-million for defaulting on their water bills.”

 

In one building, the electricity connection came from the metro substation and was feeding two properties next to it.

“Our teams immediately disconnected the illegal connections. We have since issued the businesses with illegal electricity connection fines of R10-million each.”

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