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KZN government departments and Ithala owe almost R1 billion in rates and services

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KZN government departments and Ithala owe almost R1 billion in rates and services

eThekwini Municipality logo

20th January 2022

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

A recent eThekwini Executive Council meeting has revealed that provincial government Departments and their entities owe the city almost R1 billion in rates and services.

The shocking figure was disclosed earlier this week when the mid-year budget and performance assessment was tabled at EXCO.

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By far, the biggest transgressor is KZN’s Department of Education (DoE) with more than R330 million outstanding. This Department is followed by KZN Public Works – a habitual offender – at R164 million. Other major contributors to the staggering debt are the province’s Departments of Health and Human Settlements.(view here)

Alarmingly, Ithala Development Bank is also on the list for outstanding monies owed to the city, amounting to almost R6 million. This outstanding debt is for commercial properties owned by the bank, which are leased out to commercial and industrial tenants. (view here)

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It has now come to light that the city is disconnecting services to these Ithala- owned properties, literally leaving tenants in the dark. (view here) These are the very same tenants who pay rent to Ithala and who are ultimately assisting in building the provincial economy and creating jobs.

This is the very same Ithala that the ANC continues to push to become the first state-owned bank. Clearly, as with the vast majority of other state owned entities, Ithala is just another failed project and nothing more than a bottomless money pit.

The DA will be writing to KZN SCOPA Chairperson, Maggie Govender, to request that the committee investigate the non or late payment of rates and services by Ithala, which has led to the disconnection of services to commercial and industrial properties being leased.

The DA will also submit written parliamentary questions to all other provincial Departments requesting a breakdown of monies owed to the city of eThekwini.

Provincial departments are obliged to settle all accounts within 30 days. Once the above information is ascertained, the DA will engage with Finance MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, and the KZN Treasury to ensure departmental compliance.

Local government in our province is already at the forefront of failure and collapse. It cannot be further hamstrung by a provincial government which fails to pay for services timeously.

 

Issued by DA KZN Spokesperson on Scopa/Finance, Francois Rodgers, MPL

 

 

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