Minister sued for R537,000 in unpaid water and electricity bills

The City of Johannesburg has gone to court to make international relations minister Lindiwe Sisulu pay R537,000 in water and electricity bills for one of her houses in Bellevue.

The Sunday Times reported that Sisulu racked up this bill between 2010 and 2014 while she was minister of human settlements.

According to the report, “an ANC-linked senior official unlawfully cancelled the debt in 2015, thereby allowing Sisulu to get a tax certificate to sell the house”.

The minister responded to the legal challenge by saying the City of Johannesburg council “was remiss not to alert her of the situation”.

City of Joburg owed billions

According to a 2017 report, the City of Johannesburg is owed a staggering R17.7 billion in bills.

This was revealed by the local government revenue and expenditure report released by National Treasury for the 2016/17 financial year.

The debt situation is so bad that mayor Herman Mashaba started a project to recover around R1 billion from 2,000 businesses which did not pay their bills.

It is, however, not only businesses which owe the city money – its own councillors are also to blame.

According to a Business Insider report, city councillors owed the municipality more than R1 million on their consumer accounts.

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Minister sued for R537,000 in unpaid water and electricity bills