National and provincial departments owe a total amount of R72,583 million to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. This emerged yesterday (subs: Wed, 6 Oct) in answer to a question for oral reply from myself to the MEC for Local Government and Traditional Affairs, Sicelo Gqobana, at the provincial legislature sitting in Alice.

These amounts are owing in excess of 30 days. The major culprits are Education – R18.5 million, Health R4.4 million and Provincial Public Works R12.5 million.

Economic Development and Environmental Affairs owes a whopping R31 million for the logistics park.

The provincial departments are the major culprits with the National Department of Public Works only owing R1.4 million of the total.

There are also R4.5 million of accounts that are under dispute.

Given the fact that the Metro is experiencing a cash flow crisis, it is imperative that provincial departments pay the Metro timeously. It is policy that accounts should be paid within the 30-day period.

The Nelson Mandela Metropole is not the only Municipality that experiences problems with payments by the Province. The financial management of our cash strapped municipalities throughout this province is placed under huge pressure when these delays occur. This results in service delivery breaking down. It also results in suppliers and contractors not being paid which, in turn, negatively impacts on business and jobs.

Over the past few weeks I have been approached by numerous contractors who have been placed under hardship by the delay in payments from the Nelson Mandela Municipality.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to pursue this matter to ensure that financial management in this province improves so that municipalities are empowered to do the work that we expect of them.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 0827753444

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