The ANC wants to ensure that citizens and government departments start paying for services, given the massive debt owed by and to SA’s local municipalities.
The party’s national executive committee (NEC) has decided it will “immediately” embark on a mass campaign to encourage communities to pay for services.
The ANC’s highest decision-making body between conferences met over the weekend to deal mainly with the economy and the state of local government.
The culture of non-payment has seen consumers owing billions of rand to municipalities. In turn, local authorities are also heavily indebted to various water boards and ailing power utility Eskom, which has become SA’s biggest credit risk.
Soweto residents alone owe R18bn to Eskom, which provides electricity directly to residents there. This in turn affects Eskom’s own ballooning debt, which threatens the country’s financial sustainability.
Finance minister Tito Mboweni, who is an NEC member, said on Wednesday that the government must show leadership by paying Eskom as well as what it owes to different municipalities.
“There’s a famous township in Gauteng which owes Eskom 18bn. They must pay,” Mboweni said.
While Mboweni clearly supported the user-pay principle, he did not venture into the terrain of e-tolls. The government is yet to make a final decision on the controversial tolling system.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said municipalities that owed Eskom and the water boards must settle outstanding debts or make arrangements to do so, while the power utility and ...........