Johannesburg’s Festive Crackdown on Debt Defaulters
As the festive season approaches, the City of Johannesburg is taking a tough stance on high defaulters, aiming to recover a substantial R52 billion in municipal debt.
To send a clear message, city authorities are prepared to cut off electricity and water services for those who persistently refuse to settle their rates and services debts.
The Importance of Revenue Collection
Kgamanyane Maphologela, the Director for Customer Communications at the City of Johannesburg, emphasizes the critical role of revenue collection.
It serves as the backbone of the city, enabling sustained service delivery that betters the lives of more than 6 million residents who depend daily on municipal services.
High Defaulters on the Red List
Properties falling into the high defaulters category find themselves on the City of Johannesburg’s red list. These properties face the imminent threat of service termination due to their chronic nonpayment.
However, this dire consequence comes with significant additional costs for the customers.
Consequences of Service Disconnection
In the event of service disconnection, property owners must initiate a reconnection request. This process requires payment of the full outstanding balance or a 50% deposit of the owed amount to enter into a payment agreement.
The city’s most severe measure, a level three cut-off, involves the removal of the City’s meter from the property, necessitating payment not only of the debt but also for the installation of a new meter.
The City’s Clear Message
The City of Johannesburg’s message to its customers is unequivocal: “The City cautions its customers to pay their municipal accounts promptly to avoid service termination and the additional charges associated with it.” This stern warning aims to ensure responsible and timely payments.
Maintaining Essential Services
Ultimately, the revenue collected by the City is vital for maintaining and delivering essential services to its 900,000 properties.
These services include water, electricity, refuse removal, and sewage systems. Failure to settle debts poses a significant risk to this critical infrastructure and service provision.
Customers seeking payment arrangements can contact the City’s Credit Control Department through email at email@example.com. Alternatively, they can visit customer walk-in centers to facilitate the prompt settlement of their accounts.
A Responsibility to Maintain Essential Services
Paying municipal bills on time is not merely a requirement but a responsibility that ensures the maintenance of essential services millions of residents rely on during the festive season and beyond.