Tshwane municipal employees have been benefiting from services meant for the city’s poor, mayor Solly Msimanga has said.
Attempts to rid the city of corruption had revealed that civil servants’ names were on the database of those qualifying for services like free water and electricity, and exemption from rates and taxes, he told News24 on Tuesday.
He was unable to explain how this could have happened. He would have the numbers available once his finance department had finished its report, he said.
The database of indigent residents was being cleaned up to ensure that those not meant to be on it were taken off.
The indigent programme required the beneficiary to live at the property for which they were applying to get services, unless they were a legal guardian applying on behalf of a child-headed household. Registered indigent households qualified for 12kl of free water per month, 100 kWh of electricity, free waste and sewage removal, and exemption from rates and taxes.
Msimanga said the corruption in the city was robbing many people of those benefits. It was crippling the city financially as it reduced revenue.
The city would look finding “relief mechanisms” to help those who could not afford to pay for services and who had long-standing debt for services like water and electricity, he said.