East Cape municipalities owed crippling R8.2bn in unpaid bills

Municipalities in the Eastern Cape are owed about R8.2-billion in unpaid rates and service bills from businesses, households and even government departments.

This is affecting the municipalities’ ability to pay their accounts, and they owe creditors about R1.4-billion.These were the amounts reflected in municipal books at the end of the last financial year, which ended on June 30.

The figures were revealed in a legislature response to questions by DA MPL Bobby Stevenson.

In Finance MEC Sakhumzi Somyo’s reply, he said households owed municipalitiesR5-billion, businesses owed R1.8-billion, organs of state owed R580-million and other entities owed R700-million.

There are 45 municipalities in the province. Stevenson said this was threatening the financial viability of municipalities.

“The poor state of the economy in the Eastern Cape is biting hard,” he said.

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