There was reason to smile in the offices of Limpopo Economic Development Enterprise (LimDev) yesterday after the parastatal collected a total of R4million from its debtors.
The collection comes after the parastatal closed down nearly 60 businesses from around the province, which owed it more than R190million.
The parastatal sent the sheriff of the court to close down businesses of people who had failed to settle the debts.
They included those who rented LimDev buildings for their businesses and those who borrowed money from thecompany.
In a bid to recover the money LimDev convened a media briefing a fortnight ago to urge those who still owed it to pay back or face closure of their businesses.
"A week after we made the call we were inundated with calls from people who wanted to settle their debts," LimDev spokesman Leo Gama said yesterday.
"We can proudly say that about 20percent of those who owed us came and settled their accounts. Thanks to Sowetan for helping us disseminate the information to our people."
Gama said they were owed R140million by people who got loans to set up businesses, while the other R50million was in the form of unpaid rentals.
"We hope to collect more and we wish other people would also come and settle their accounts," Gama said.
"We did not want to close their businesses but they left us with no option when they failed to react to our calls at the beginning."
Gideon Malebati, whose grocery shop was closed down, said he had no money to settle the debt.
He said he had lost a lot of money because of load-shedding, which he said had affected his business.