PICS: I-TSHWANE ICIMA IY'BANI!

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Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

SOME government buildings, hotels, embassies and clubs were left without water and electricity since Tuesday, 8 February.

This was after the City of Tshwane embarked on what it calls aggressive revenue collection campaign in trying to recover money owed to it by such establishments.

Places such as Denel, Forest Hill Mall, Morning Star Express Hotel, SANDF Navy headquarters, Department of Infrastructure and Development got an unpleasant visit from the City of Tshwane officials.

“Forest Hill Mall paid R4 million to avoid disconnection. If you owe us, please make payment arrangements before we switch you off. The big culprits of the day are the Department of Infrastructure and Development owing R245 million and the Department of Public Works owing R110 million. After much resistance, and intimidation, we finally switched off Denel. We treat all our customers the same without fear or favour. Sheraton Hotel is in the dark. Make arrangements to pay your account before you find yourself in the dark. Sheraton Hotel owes R23 million,” read the city’s tweets

Tshwane Mayor Randall Williams said: “We are obligated in terms of the municipal legislation to recover money due to the city. It is not something we can do voluntarily as we have an obligation to do it. We have been doing it for some time, but what we are doing now is that we are escalating it and turning it into operations and become more visibly active.”

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

The city continues to disconnect services to customers whose accounts have been in arrears for more than three months.

The city’s spokesman, Selby Bokaba, said Tshwane’s debtor’s book, mainly from government departments, embassies, businesses, residential customers and entities due to non-payment of municipal services currently stands at more than R17 billion.

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

“This debt makes it difficult for the city to fulfil its obligation of delivering essential and basic services to its residents and customers. After making a series of impassioned pleas to customers to honour their municipal accounts by paying them on time and in full fell on deaf ears. The city embarked on a campaign to recoup debt owed to it by its customers by disconnecting water and electricity services. The arrears are on property rates, water and electricity services,” he said.

Bokaba said that residential customers owed the city about R8 billion, businesses R4 billion and the outstanding amount that make up R17 billion is owed by government departments, entities and embassies.

Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
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Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.
Photo: Supplied.

“The city is also in the process of attaching bank accounts of certain entities in an effort to recoup monies owed to the municipality,” said Bokaba.

He said the first phase of the revenue collection would focus on a number of big businesses, 100 suburban and 48 government accounts.

He said the officials spearheading the campaign had been accompanied by Tshwane Metro Police Department officials to ensure their safety and security and protect them from possible harassment and intimidation.

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