KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for cooperative governance and traditional affairs Nomusa Dube has ordered municipalities not to sue other government departments for unpaid debts.
Dube instead urged municipalities that are owed money by government departments to use other avenues to recover their money.
This comes after the Ulundi municipality took legal action against government departments owing it about R90 million.
The MEC viewed this as an unnecessary expenditure.
"There are platforms such as the premier's coordinating forum (that) should be used instead of rushing to court, which will milk municipalities of a lot of money.
"We have repeatedly invited municipalities to formally request our assistance on such matters," Dube said.
She said part of the challenge was that government departments were not being provided with proper billing documents by municipalities.
"There seems to be queries about certain bills which, according to some departments, municipalities are not adequately addressing," she said.
She said service delivery in the province was being hampered because a number of municipalities had a weak revenue base.
"Then you have a small municipality announcing that it will approach court on an issue that could otherwise have been sorted out within the government," she said.