SurgeZirc reports that the debt profile of the eThekwini Municipality has risen to R16.8 billion.
This is according to the July 2021 budget statement which reveals that the debtors form a laundry list comprising of parastatals, government departments, businesses, the Ingonyama Trust, and bus operator Tansnat. R5.9 billion is categorised as debt which includes “collection challenges”.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in a statement on Wednesday warned that eThekwini’s debt was growing unmanageable for many years, stating that the city’s leadership had spent lavishly, recovered debt poorly, and borrowed extensively.
SurgeZirc understands that the municipality is currently experiencing chronic revenue challenges with service delivery almost non-existent.
It was further gathered that during the month of August, the municipality suffered water losses of more than 54 percent. This means that the municipality is losing more water than it sells, resulting in revenue losses amounting to hundreds of millions of much-needed revenue.
In the same month, the report states that more than 190 576 water meters were not read and Of those unread meters, 47 437 have remained unread for more than a year.
“In the same month, there were 54 321 unread electricity meters. Of those unread meters, 505 have remained unread for more than a year.
“For more than three years now, eThekwini residents have suffered through irregular billing as residents have had to pay inflated bills as a result of the failure of the billing system and the lack of regular meter readings.
“The DA in eThekwini will continue to be the voice of the residents of eThekwini and expose non-performance by officials and ANC politicians who reward themselves with millions of Rands of ratepayer-funded salaries,” the statement reads.