Madibeng comes up with R155 million before Tshwane grabs bank account

The Madibeng municipality has come forward with R155 million of the R258 million that they owed the City of Tshwane to avoid its bank account being attached, the Tshwane mayor, Randall Williams announced on Thursday.

Mayor Douglas Maimane was not informed about the court case or the resulting R155 million payment.

This follows a court ruling two days before which allowed Tshwane to attach the bank account of Madibeng to recoup the debt. Madibeng did not oppose the application. The court ordered that Madibeng paid the debt within seven days.

“The City of Tshwane welcomes this payment and will further engage Madibeng Local Municipality on the payment of the outstanding arrears totalling over R100 million. The message we are driving here is clear, pay for services rendered. As a municipality we purchase electricity and water in bulk, meaning by the time we distribute these services, we have already paid on our side. If we then fail to receive revenue back from services rendered, it leaves us with shortfalls in our finances,” Williams said.

He said the City of Tshwane means business and it will continue to pursue debt that is owed to it by residents, businesses and government entities.

Some of the Madibeng leadership, including the mayor, Douglas Maimane, were shocked on Tuesday to learn of the judgment as they were not even aware of Tshwane’s court application. “We were kept in the dark about this matter,” he said. “The Office of the Executive Mayor did not know about the application in the High Court. The evidence at our disposal suggests that the municipal administration was aware of the matter but did not inform the Executive Mayor. The report will be tabled before council for a decision on the matter including commitments made on behalf of council without the knowledge and input of council.”

The payment that was made on Thursday, once again was without the mayor’s knowledge. “I was not briefed about the payment of R155 million and the new payment plan. We think that the money was taken from the equitable share allocation to the Municipality for this new financial year.”