Residents must pay, says MEC

PAY-UP: MEC for local government Gedani Mahlangu speaking at the Gauteng finance summit in Sandton, Gauteng. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 19/07/07. Sunday World.
PAY-UP: MEC for local government Gedani Mahlangu speaking at the Gauteng finance summit in Sandton, Gauteng. Pic. Mabuti Kali. 19/07/07. Sunday World.

Langelihle Chagwe

Langelihle Chagwe

Gauteng local government MEC Qedani Mahlangu yesterday lambasted residents who pleaded poverty yet could afford to pay for rates and services.

She said such people were hiding behind the poor.

Mahlangu was speaking against the backdrop of about R20billion owed to municipalities in the province.

Mahlangu was speaking at the Gauteng municipal finance summit in Sandton which was geared at eradicating debt from municipal coffers across the province.

Mahlangu said there was a policy in place to ensure that the municipalities were not owed, while the indigent policy was meant to assist those who could not afford to pay.

Mahlangu said there was a working debt-collection strategy in place.

"Municipalities find it difficult to meet challenges of producing reliable financial data and reporting this timeously. They need to maximise revenue collection and to look at alternative funding mechanisms," she said.

She added that the ultimate challenge was to ensure that budgets were spent in accordance with service delivery targets.

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