The South African Local Government Association (Salga) wants all municipalities to get tough.
They must start going after residents and government departments who are not paying for services or helping with delivery, the association said.
Eskom’s financial troubles were exacerbated by municipalities who were either unwilling or unable to pay for power.
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said the country’s municipalities collectively owed the power utility close to R27 billion. The power utility took drastic measures to receive payment, including cutting off power to non-paying residents and taking court action against defaulting municipalities.
Salga president Thembi Nkadimeng said defaulters had left them with no choice.
“Municipalities need to ensure that they apply their policies. An account that has not been paid; notice must be issued, and the disconnection of service must follow. This phase should also include targeting government properties and businesses through disconnection where there is sufficient merit,” she said.
Nkadimeng said that next month the association would conduct a study to establish where deserving residents could have their debt written off.