The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) has reaffirmed its commitment to pay municipalities that provide services to public buildings on time.
The department said on Tuesday that the amount of R170,146,279.32 as of July 31, 2022 is under investigation as it is in the process of being reconciled with municipalities to ensure correct payment.
Currently, in terms of payments to municipalities providing municipal services and property rates, out of a total of 257 municipalities, the department has received age analysis reports from 210 municipalities where services are provided.
As of July 31, 2022, DPWI contacted the municipalities, which led to the audit. The department confirmed the amount owed to municipalities in the amount of R83,319,809 for utilities and property values.
“The department is waiting for the municipalities to submit the invoices and payments will be processed once the invoices are received,” the department said.
According to the department, an amount of about R67.2 million was billed as an annual bill that the department pays monthly under the program. The department does not pay an advance payment.
An amount of just over 12 million rand was also incorrectly billed to the department, despite multiple communications with municipalities.
“For consideration of disputes in the amount of 12 million rubles [mark]DPWI urges municipalities to waive interest related to the property of other custodians and advises municipalities to send invoices to the rightful owners for future payments.
“An amount of just over R324.5 million is also disputed in terms of property rates and taxes as at 31 July 2022,” the department said.
To resolve these disputes, DPWI takes the following steps:
• Request municipalities to waive unconfirmed interest.
• Verification of ownership/custody of the property provided (in some of these cases the land on which the DPWI facilities are located is not owned by DPWI and therefore creates problems for invoicing as invoicing is not based on the area owned by DPWI , but the entire volume of the land plot).
• The process of separating or surveying these facilities is under consideration, but more information is still required from the municipalities to identify those causing the debt/indebtedness.
• Conducting a pilot surveying project in Limpopo to ensure that ownership of government property is rectified. Lessons learned from this process will be implemented in other provinces when funds are determined.
“DPWI processes all valid and verified invoices received within the deadlines set by the municipalities as their invoices are payable within the regulated 30 days from receipt of the invoice.
“Notwithstanding the above, DPWI has made payments to all 257 municipalities for municipal services and property rates worth R1.26 billion from April 2022 to July 2022,” the department said.
The total amount paid to all municipalities for municipal services and property rates for July 2022 is R228 million.
The rate of invoices paid within 30 days increased from 96% in June 2022 to 98% in July 2022.
The department said this is a clear demonstration of DPWI’s ongoing efforts to ensure timely payment of all valid invoices from municipalities.
As for the entities that report to the department, the department said that it does not currently owe municipalities in this regard. – SAnews.gov.za