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Parents back council over hiring debt collectors


Parents with pupils at Mtshane Primary School have backed council’s decision to engage debt collectors as part of its debt recovery programme.

The council, which is owed at least $900 000 in unpaid tuition fees and levies at its 29 primary schools, resolved to engage debt collectors in March after exhausting other channels to recover the debts some of which date back to 2009.

But, the resolution was put on hold after some councillors argued the move was inhuman.
According to the latest council report, parents at Mtshane Primary School – a council-run school — made the resolution at a parent-teacher association (PTA) meeting last month.

“At a PTA meeting, the parents of Mtshane Primary School resolved that outstanding tuition fees and levies should be received through the services of debt collectors,” read the report.

“This was reported to have been unanimously adopted by the parents/guardians who attended the meeting.”

The report stated the bold decision taken by the parents would improve the payment of outstanding fees and levies at the school.

“Parents were mandated by government instruments to recover outstanding debts using such courses of action,” read the report.

Outstanding fees and levies owed to the local authority, dating back to 2009, amount to
$891 913,50. Council schools have a total enrolment of 35 119 pupils.

“The engaging of debt collectors to recover outstanding fees and levies was permissible by law, provided the parents agree that such methods of recovering monies should be employed by the respective schools,” reads the council report.
“If no such agreement was reached between the parents and heads of schools, debt recovery becomes a difficult task.”

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