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In order to recover $1.1 billion, Tshwane cuts power supplies

In an effort to ensure that they are paid what they are owed for providing services, Tshwane - which includes Pretoria, where President Ramaphosa's offices are - has launched a campaign to collect revenue by disconnecting water and electricity to government offices, diplomatic missions, and commercial properties. There are arrears of R17 billion (approximately $1,125,730,140) owed to the city.

In order to recover $1.1 billion, Tshwane cuts power supplies

"Pay your bill or you'll end up in the dark," the City told residents on social media, moments before it disconnected electricity at the 5-star Sheraton Hotel. The city claims that the Sheraton Hotel owes R23 million. As of now, no one is immune to the impact of this unprecedented local government campaign, with the city cutting off electricity at the offices of the South African National Defence Force.

"When we say No Fear, No Favor, we mean it. We are at the SANDF Navy headquarters to cut electricity, and they owe us R3,197,428,81 in property rates." There are a number of companies owing the city a large sum, including the Department of Infrastructure Development, which owes R260 million. South African Women's Federation offices were without power because the organization owes about R5 million in arrears.

Meanwhile, the state-owned arms manufacturer Denel has just settled their R2.2 million debt. Some businesses have approached the courts to interdict the municipality from cutting services. However, Member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance Alderman Peter Sutton has dismissed as false, rumors that all the cases are being taken to court and the city is losing.

The City of Tshwane aims to recover up to R5 billion from its debtors by the end of February 2022 by going door-to-door to collect on unpaid bills. It also emphasized that the debt-collection campaign is not going to be a once-off hence they are prepared to defend the disconnections that will be implemented at every turn. Pretoria businesses, residents, government entities and government departments, owe the City over R17 billion.