Un­der-collection puts CHDM in a spot


CHRIS Hani Dis­trict Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CHDM) was strug­gling to col­lect rev­enue from its debtors which was, in turn, hav­ing a neg­a­tive im­pact on ser­vice de­liv­ery.

A re­port on the fi­nan­cial state of the dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­ity, tabled at an or­di­nary coun­cil meet­ing at the Queens Casino and Ho­tel on Tues­day, showed that for the first quar­ter end­ing Septem­ber 30, a to­tal of R50.9-mil­lion had been billed by the lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties for both wa­ter which con­trib­uted R38.8-mil­lion (13%) and san­i­ta­tion which con­trib­uted R12.2-mil­lion (4%) to the to­tal rev­enue. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity only man­aged to col­lect R3.4-mil­lion.

CHDM ex­ec­u­tive mayor Kholiswa Vim­bayo said the non-com­pli­ance of debtors was a ma­jor con­cern.

“We must en­sure that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity is paid within the 30-day pe­riod. We need to mon­i­tor the rev­enue that is spent by the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and en­sure that it trans­lates to ser­vices de­liv­ered to com­mu­ni­ties. This would as­sist us to bal­ance and re­view our per­for­mance.”

The mayor urged mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials to en­sure that cred­i­tors were paid as well within the 30-day pe­riod.

The re­port in­di­cated a to­tal con­sumer debtors’ bal­ance of R1.1-bil­lion, rang­ing be­tween zero days to more than a year, with about R1-bil­lion be­ing more than 90 days in ar­rears.

ANC coun­cil­lor Noz­i­bele Makanda said if the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion re­gard­ing rev­enue collection re­mained, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity would be in trou­ble due to un­der-collection of funds.

“Coun­cil re­solved in our last fi­nan­cial year that there would be in­ter­est added if debtors failed to make pay­ments at the be­gin­ning of July. We thought this would en­cour­age them to pay, but that did not hap­pen. We even held road shows and walk-ins to busi­nesses. While we un­der­stand the so­cio-eco­nomic con­di­tions of our area, some­thing has to change. We are also tar­get­ing of­fi­cials and coun­cil­lors across all the six lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties to en­sure that not a sin­gle one fails to pay their ac­counts.”

Au­dit com­mit­tee chair­man Jack­son Mbawuli said if the mu­nic­i­pal­ity col­lected R1-bil­lion each quar­ter, there would be a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence re­gard­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery.

“Late pay­ment of sup­pli­ers be­yond 30 days is still an is­sue which re­quires se­ri­ous at­ten­tion. The mu­nic­i­pal­ity must en­sure that the billing sys­tem is work­ing in its favour and en­sure all state­ments reach debtors on time.”

Coun­cil speaker Mx­olisi Koyo said busi­nesses were fail­ing to pay what was due to the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“I am also go­ing to put mu­nic­i­pal of­fi­cials and coun­cil­lors to shame. How can one be work­ing for the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and still con­trib­ute to the prob­lem we are try­ing to fight? There are mu­nic­i­pal work­ers here who do not pay their rates and it is im­por­tant for us to lead by ex­am­ple,” Koyo said.

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