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Mokonyane confident in plan to recover R10bn debt from municipalities

Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane on Monday gave an update about her departments battle with defaulting municipalities.

FILE: Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says that she's confident her department's new plan to recover debt from municipalities will be effective.

Mokonyane on Monday gave an update about her department's battle with defaulting municipalities, which she says owe it R10 billion.

She says she hopes that provincial governments will now intervene to recover the debt.

“Just a week ago, together with MEC Paul Mashatile, we’ve been working with the acting mayor of Emfuleni. We were able to pulls things out of the Emfuleni administration which affects their inability to pay.”

Mokonyane says the department has explored all options to get municipalities to pay outstanding water bills but more than 180 municipalities remain in arrears.

Acting CFO of the Water Trading Agency Paul Nell says the debt has been growing over the last seven years.

“If we look at this financial year, it has grown by R750 million for the first six months. If nothing gets done, we estimate it will grow by R1.5 billion every year. It will just grow and grow. That’s money you should be using elsewhere.”

The department says it will target 30 municipalities owing individual debt of R50 million older than six months.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)