Johannesburg’s economic mainstay, City Power, which has recently been struggling with power outages, is heading into the 2018-2019 financial year with a deficit of R1.2bn. The deficit would have to be overcome by collecting about R3bn in unpaid electricity tariffs owed by residents, the utility’s CEO Lerato Setshedi said in an interview with Business Day on Monday. City Power is an independent municipal entity that is wholly owned by the City of Johannesburg but is managed by an independent board. It contributes about 40% of the city’s revenue, while the city contributes about 16% of the national economy, as well as 40% of the Gauteng provincial economy. It has undertaken to substantially cut the deficit by the end of the 2018-2019 financial year. In a clarification of the deficit, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s spokesman, Luyanda Mfeka, said on Wednesday that a VAT refund of R314.5m had been withheld. This was due to a tax dispute incurred under the past ANC administration. At...

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