POLOKWANE – Figures contained in the Polokwane Municipality’s financial report for the period July 1 to September 30, which was discussed at a recent council meeting, indicated that the municipality has performed well in some areas, while that others have painted a bleak picture.
The debtors owe the municipality over R1.8b and the fact that 65% of the debts are over a year old raises a concern that needs to be addressed by the municipality’s chief financial officer, Nazeem Essa, with the support of council.
According to the report, households owed just under R1.3b, business customers R396m and state bodies R133m, accounting for 71%, 23% and 7% respectively and it appears the municipality is not enforcing its policy credit control to the level required to contain the debt book which increases by around R2 million every year.
According to the report, there has been a drop in revenue from electricity sales, attributed to the use of alternative energy sources, load shedding and a decrease in bulk purchases.
Water turnover is down 24% and the fault lies with faulty meters not replaced on time, as well as the malfunctioning of prepaid meters.
Three councilors owe the municipality a sum of R160,592 and the civil servants are in arrears of R853,206 and no acceptable reason has been given for this situation.
Destitute support cost the municipality R4.1 million for the month of September alone.
In terms of revenue, the municipality received R1.189b, representing 23% of the budgeted R5.1b, while operating expenses amounted to R867m, or 21% of the budgeted R4.2b.
Capital expenditure amounted to R52m, only 5% of the R974m budget.
The municipality owed creditors R142m and the Development Bank of South Africa R192m and Standard Bank R191m on outstanding loans, despite having a positive bank balance of 2 .7 million rand.
The grant account balance was R168 million and part of the funds were invested to generate interest until needed.
Amounts of R28m and R37m were invested in Nedbank earning interest of R44,493 and R65,688 respectively, while an investment of R180m in Standard Bank earned interest amounting to R384,658.
Salaries for politicians cost the municipality R10.9 million, while senior executives earned R2.9 million and other civil servants R257.4 million.
Overtime payments have significantly reduced the budget, with R22.3 million spent in the first three months of the financial year, which is already 120% of the amount budgeted.