According to an article recently published by BusinessTech, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) is considering a number of new measures to improve municipal revenue collection across the country.
Auditing outcomes under the current local government administration, now in its third year, have regressed.
Over the three-year period, the audit outcomes of 76 municipalities regressed, while only 31 improved. Only 11% of the 257 municipalities getting clean audits.
The suggested measures include:
- Working with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) to withhold tax refunds for non-payment of utility bills. The municipality will be paid first before a refund is deposited to the tax payer’s account
- Write-offs of the ever-increasing household debts to municipalities, including the introduction of a national bill for the writing off of these household debts in exchange for the installation of prepaid water and electricity metres
- Amending schedule 2 section 10 of the Municipal System Act so all state employees are required to be up-to-date on municipal bills, and not just municipal councillors and employees
- The establishment of a District Revenue Collection Agency to achieve better collection efficiencies and free up municipal personnel to focus on more pressing service deliver efforts
- Amending the procurement regulations to make it compulsory for any potential service provider to produce a municipal services rates compliance certificate, prior to being awarded a government contract.
- Resolving municipal and customer debts to Eskom
- Bringing together preventative controls to improve the financial state of municipalities