The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) is currently assisting Mpumalanga municipalities to improve their billing systems.

Some municipalities are implementing smart meter systems to ensure that consumers are correctly billed and that distribution losses are minimised. Credit control measures will be strengthened to deal with illegal connections and harsh penalties will be affected against consumers tempering with pre-paid and conventional meters

MEC for COGTA in Mpumalanga, Hon. Simon Skhosana has expressed hope that the campaign for payment of municipal services is yielding the desired results. This follows the payment of R514 million between January 2011 and March 2014, owed by government departments and communities in Mpumalanga.

According to Skhosana, the settlement of this amount is due, in part, to the establishment of a task team by COGTA and the Provincial Department of Finance, assigned to collect outstanding government debts and co-operation by the municipalities.

“The teams have assisted with identification of direct deposits from departments and the allocation thereof into the correct consumer accounts. Municipalities reviewed their property rates schedules and included properties which were not on the schedule for payment. Tenants occupying government properties were also pursued for the recovery of outstanding revenue,” says Skhosana.

Skhosana has urged all government departments and communities to continue paying for municipal services in support of government’s initiative to make local government everybody’s business.