Lack of skill and the will to change governance around are blamed for the alarming mismanagement.
Mpumalanga’s portfolio committee on cooperative governance and traditional affairs has heard that the eMalahleni and Govan Mbeki local municipalities are the province’s worst performing municipalities in running debt collection systems.
Mpumalanga municipalities have been forced to cancel R6.4bn of its R8.4bn debt.
This debt includes the non-payment of rates and taxes, water and electricity, Fin24 reports.
The eMalahleni municipality is owed R3.6bn by the residents and Govan Mbeki in Secunda is owed R1.2bn.
DA co-operative governance shadow MEC James Masango said there is no “political will” to correct the situation and improve debt collection.
Masango said the financial crisis which most of the municipalities find themselves in is the direct result of corruption, lack of skills and a growing attitude by residents to not pay.
He said this doesn’t only affect services to people but also makes the municipalities unable to pay debts owed to Eskom and Rand Water.
“Consumers don’t pay. So where do councils have to find money to service its debtors,” he said.
(edited by MLM)
Send tip-offs to firstname.lastname@example.org