No more pennies in municipal coffers

In a recent shocking statement the Democratic Alliance said Emalahleni Local Municipality is one of four municipalities in Mpumalanga that are bankrupt.

The opposition party said Emalahleni Local Municipality, Msukaligwa Local Municipality, Lekwa Municipality and the City of Mbombela is bankrupt.

In a recent presentation to the Portfolio Committee of CoGTA, it was noted that out of 17 local municipalities in the province, 11 were not financially viable. It was also noted that Mpumalanga local municipalities had a debt of more than R8.6 billion of which R5 billion (85%) was contributed by households as a result of failure to ensure revenue collection and improve the financial management.

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The consumer payment rate in eMalahleni is currently 62 percent and one of the main contributors to this number is the billing system that has for the past 11 months caused nothing but havoc amongst residents.

“Considering all the municipal assets Emalahleni Local Municipality is not bankrupt,” said municipal spokesperson, Mr Kingdom Mabuza.

He said this on the backdrop of the Eskom-debt that broke through the R1.7 billion barrier.

“On average we pay Eskom between R1 million and R2 million per day. Since July last year to February this year Eskom has billed us R600 million and we managed to pay R341 million.”

The municipality owe other creditors R30 million.

Mr James Masango MPL and DA Spokesperson on CoGTA said R1.8 billion is owed to Emalahleni, the municipality’s net operating loss is R385 million and the current liability exceeding current assets sits at R1.8 billion.

  AUTHOR
Zita Goldswain
Assistant Editor

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