Bay rates collection projected to be billions short — Nqaba Bhanga
Nelson Mandela Bay is set to lose R2.6bn in projected revenue collection for the 2020/2021 financial year if payment trends on municipal bills continue.
This is according to DA councillor Nqaba Bhanga, who was commenting on the municipality’s Covid-19 response plan that was presented to government’s co-operative governance and traditional affairs portfolio committee on June 18.
For March, the municipality only managed a collection rate of 83.9%, which is far short of their 94% target.
“The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is on the verge of economic ruin,” Bhanga said.
He said the municipality had shown that the under-collection was expected to reach R670m for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Adding to this, he said it appeared National Treasury had withheld grant funding worth R750m.
This, Bhanga said, was due to the municipality not adhering to directives meant to be implemented before the money was released.
“Despite these significant blows to the city’s income streams, there seems to be no plan in place that speaks to how the effects will be mitigated,” Bhanga said.
“The DA is extremely concerned that, to date, there has been no Covid-19 expenditure report presented to the Nelson Mandela Bay council.”
He said it appeared as if supply chain management regulations were regularly flouted under the guise of Covid-19 expenditure.
Bhanga said he would write to interim mayor Thsonono Buyeye to request that:
- The municipality engage National Treasury to discuss the payment of outstanding grants and the benchmarking of the budget;
- The budget monitoring forum meet monthly to evaluate expenditure reports; and
- The budget steering committee, consisting of representatives of all parties, be re-established.
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