Public Works owes municipalities over R1bn, De Lille reveals

Patricia de Lille says a clean-out is under way in her department, with thousands of cases currently before the Special Investigations Unit, 12 July 2019. Picture: Moneyweb

The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille, revealed that her department owed money to numerous municipalities due to various reasons.

This amidst the financial struggles of various municipalities in South Africa which resulted in many being placed under administration by government.

She stated that the department of public works and infrastructure (DPWI) has engaged with 62 municipalities in all nine provinces in order to verify and settle outstanding debt.

This came to light after a former Mangaung municipality councillor, Semakaleng Kopane, who is now part of the National Assembly, asked De Lille if any provincial department of public works owes money to any municipality.

De Lille then revealed, among others, that DPWI in the Free State owes a staggering R629,701,094, DPWI in the Northern Cape owes R575,081,688 while North West DPWI owes R151,175,599 to the provinces’ municipalities.

She explained that municipalities are owed money by the department because many of these municipalities submit inflated accounts and because several government departments are not refunding DPWI, it creates cash flow problems for the department, which results in nonpayment.

De Lille explained that the department still needs to engage with the remaining 192 municipalities to verify and settle their outstanding debt.

Elsabé Richard / OFM News