Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has ordered all government departments – both provincial and national – who still owe municipalities to settle their accounts.
“This provincial government must pay every municipality they are owing; we should not be part of the problem,” Premier Mabuza said.
The Premier called on the municipalities to improve their billing systems in order to improve on their revenue collection at a recent meeting with executive mayors and municipalities.
He said municipalities needed to decide on whether they still wanted to continue distributing electricity on behalf of Eskom or consider surrendering the function.
“People steal electricity and you battle with revenue collection. If you want to sustain this business, you must deal with illegal connections.
“Running a municipality and selling electricity is a business, if you do not pay your service providers, they will not trust you and you will have a credibility problem. Eskom is a business, it cannot give electricity for free,” Premier Mabuza said.
He said the leadership of the municipalities needed to educate citizens about the culture of paying for the services.
“We cannot have a country where people are consuming the services and do not pay. It does not take us any far as a country and as leaders if our choices are not good. We must share a common vision right from the bottom to the top,” Premier Mabuza said.