The SA Local Government Association (Salga) is working on a plan to recoup money owed to municipalities by consumers.
As of June 2019, municipalities were owed R165,5 billion for services rendered.
Salga is calling on residents, companies and the government to pay all debts owed to municipalities so the councils can settle their debts with Eskom and the water boards.
Speaking to Clement Manyathela, Salga chief of operations Lance Joel says the unemployment rate is having a direct impact on people's ability to pay for services.
The total debt that is being owed to municipalities is around R165,5 billion, this includes households, business and government.— Lance Joel, Chief of Operations - South African Local Government Association
Households are sitting at R118 billion and business around R25 billion and government sitting at R10,3 billion.— Lance Joel, Chief of Operations - South African Local Government Association
Joel says people would rather pay for their DStv than pay for electricity.
We need to have a campaign that would ask all of us to start prioritising what is necessary within the current constraint that we have across the country.— Lance Joel, Chief of Operations - South African Local Government Association
We are going to ask our municipalities to implement the control policies where the credit-control measures will force people to pay their debts.— Lance Joel, Chief of Operations - South African Local Government Association
Joel says municipal staff members and municipal managers are not be allowed to be in arrears from more than three months.
He says they want to implement this policy to public servants at all levels.
Listen to the full interview below...