THE Greater Tzaneen municipality in Limpopo has written off almost R7million in irrecoverable debts, despite its poor financial situation.
This is money the council failed to collect from residents in Lenyenye and NkowaNkowa townships outside Tzaneen in the past financial year.
Indigents, who owe R6,5million of the debt, are the ones who will be given priority in the process.
The decision was taken despite the municipality being owed more than R130million that has accumulated from unpaid rates over the past 11 years.
Municipal spokesperson Odas Ngobeni said in terms of an indigent policy provision has been made for an account in arrears to be written off as irrecoverable if the debtors is registered as an indigent.
Ngobeni said Mayor Othaniel Mushwana had announced during the tabling of the municipal budget of R579million for this financial year that an amount of R11million had been set aside to settle bad debts.
According to Ngobeni the decision to write off the bad debts was approved by the council after it realised that most of the people who owed a lot of money were indigents.
Ngobeni said the indigents whose debts were written off were those who had been registered on the municipal database.
Ngobeni also said that the council had also approved the sale of the bad debt book, excluding the indigent household's debts, to any person who might be interested in pursuing the collection of these debts. This would be sold at a reasonable amount to be determined by the acting chief financial officer.