Tshwane businesses and residents urged to settle municipal debt

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The City of Tshwane has invited businesses and residents to make arrangements to settle their outstanding municipal debts as the city embarked on a campaign to disconnect services to customers who have failed to pay.

The city is owed more than R17 billion with both State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) and private property owners having defaulted on their municipal accounts.

The city says they must arrange to settle their debt or face disconnection of utility services.

Tshwane spokesperson Selby Bokaba says, “There are those when we come to disconnect, they will say: “no, wait, I will make the payment”. Some have made arrangements to pay but the money hasn’t shown on our account. So we are lenient and aggressive at the same time.”

“We listen to those who come forward and make arrangements. So when you do that you’ve to pay 50 -60% from the overall debt and sign the payment arrangement in which to settle the outstanding amount,” added Bokaba.

VIDEO: Threats of legal action against City of Tshwane after disconnection campaign: 

The Gautrain station in Hatfield is one of the businesses that have had its power and water supply cut off. However, Gautrain spokesperson Kesagee Nayager says what the City has done is illegal.

“Without any prior notice, officials from the City of Tshwane cut off water supply to Hatfield Gautrain station claiming that it was owed approximately R10 million for services rendered to the station. The City cut off the electricity supply to the station. The Hatfield Gautrain station has a pre-paid electricity metre and the account is not only up to date but is in fact in credit to the value of approximately R120 000. The water account is similarly, up to date. We have been trying without success to contact the City to provide proof of the debt it claims it is owed,” says Nayager.

Nayager says they will approach the court for intervention.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) broadcast centre in Centurion also had its water and electricity supply cut off. However, services are continuing as normal at its Administrative Headquarters in Pretoria.

According to City officials, government departments have not paid their debt which now stands at more than R1.3 billion, while R4 billion is owed by various businesses.

Residential customers owe the city more than R8 billion in unpaid municipal services.

Tshwane continues to disconnect people who aren’t paying their bills: