KZN Education R468 million

KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu. Image via: Facebook/KZN Department of Transport.

KZN Education owing cash-strapped municipalities over R460m

The KZN Department of Education is owing cash-trapped municipalities R468 million for water, electricity and other services.

KZN Education R468 million

KZN Education MEC, Kwazi Mshengu. Image via: Facebook/KZN Department of Transport.

The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Education Department, is reportedly owing a staggering R468 million in water, electricity and other basic services from the period April 2021 to January 2022. 

This was revealed in parliamentary replies to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the province. 


According to the parliamentary replies, KZN government departments owe municipalities in the province a staggering R792 million for basic services mostly to municipalities that are already under administration such as municipalities like uMsunduzi, iNkosi Langalibalele, Umkhanyakude, Mpofana, and uMzinyathi.

Further Departments flagged for large outstanding amounts are:

  • Public Works with R255 million outstanding
  • Human Settlements with R55 million and
  • Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) with R8 million outstanding.

The province’s worst affected municipalities include:

  • EThekwini which is owed R573 million
  • Msunduzi which is owed R86.9 million and
  • Zululand Municipality which is owed R46.8 million

The DA in KZN questioned why the provincial government is not setting an example, particularly when it is only too quick to come down hard on everyone else for non-payment.

The party said it is also concerned about the alarming lack of adherence to the 30-day payment policy with Departments seemingly taking advantage of poorly-run municipalities already facing revenue collection challenges. KZN’s Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) alone has outstanding monies for as long as 240 days.

According to the replies:

• 288 million outstanding is older than 60 days

• R362 million is older than 120 days and;

• R60.2 million is outstanding for 150 days

“That municipalities themselves are not enforcing government departments’ payments, thereby deterring revenue collection, is ultimately affecting service delivery. 

“This is even more relevant when it comes to those municipalities under provincial administration which should have new strategies to enforce timely payments and to deal harshly with those who do not comply.”


There is reportedly no record of disciplinary action that has been taken against errant Departments. This despite non-payments being an offence under the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and punishable by up to five years in jail.

“The overall impact of this massive outstanding government department bill on KZN’s municipalities is catastrophic. Not only does it threaten their very survival, the effect on local economies and the development and lives of residents is also massive,” the party said.

You can view the rest of the replies here.

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