The city of Tshwane says its disconnection #TshwaneYaTima revenue collection campaign has shone a light on what it suspects to be a corruption ring of disconnections and reconnections.

Finance MMC Jacqui Uys said a forensic audit has been launched into the possible involvement of employees.

“The city is also embarking on a process to open criminal cases for theft and tampering against owners of properties with illegal connections. We urge all residents with information to come forward so we can put an end to the corruption and looting that got the city to where it is,” she said.

Uys said after the relaunch of the disconnection drive they have received calls from residents to focus on specific areas which they assume have a high rate of defaulting clients.

“I want to highlight that the R23.3bn debtors’ book is not made up by specific communities. It consists of businesses, government accounts and communities across Tshwane,” she said.

Uys said the city’s top five owing communities include suburbs and townships.

The highest owing wards include Waterkloof and  Monument Park, which owes the city R756.7m with a payment rate of 53.68%.

“Ward 101, including Silver Lakes and Boschkop, owes R726.5m with a payment rate of 40.23%. Ward 84, including Queenswood and Kilner Park, owes R485.3m with a payment rate of 29.69%. Ward 17, including Mamelodi West, owes R485.6m with a payment rate of 29.69%. Ward 21, including Mabopane, owes R449.5m with a payment rate of 12.9%. Ward 69, including Centurion, has the highest payment rate of 69.73%.” Uys said.

She said the city has capacitated the revenue collection campaign with more teams to increase the number of daily disconnections.

“The City is seeing the impact of the campaign in our daily cash collections. The rate of collections will see us collecting R500m of the R1bn monthly stretched target as per the financial rescue plan, bringing cash collections for March to about R3.5bn.”