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Monday Aug 31, 2020

Joburg warns property owners on arrears

Joburg residents who are in arrears with their municipal accounts because of the lockdown, and who do not enter into credit arrangements with the City, will have their water and electricity cut.

The city of Joburg, which is owed R1.4 billion in arrears since the start of lockdown, has warned it has started disconnecting services since Monday.It has also advised residents not to ignore termination notices, but to instead enter into repayment agreements with the city. Property owners who have lost their jobs and businesses during lockdown, are being urged to visit the city's walk-in centres to make these arrangements.

Cut-offs were not allowed until level 2 of the lockdown was declared last week.

Member of the mayoral committee for finance, Jolidee Matongo said: "We call on ratepayers in financial distress to approach the city for alternative payment arrangements to avoid penalties."

In recent weeks, the city announced a budget that reduced some tariffs for services that included water, electricity, waste and property rates.

The city, however, increased the rebates net to cushion the more elderly ratepayers during the lockdown.

The most recent relief included putting up to R400 million back into the pockets of property owners by giving them a three-month rates rebate on the first R600 000 value of a property during the hard lockdown levels 4 and 5.

The city has also extended the expanded social package benefit period for existing beneficiaries to reduce the number of residents who need to visit the customer centres to renew their benefit period during the pandemic lockdown period.

Here are some of the terms available to ratepayers, who have been hit-hard financially by the lockdown, and continue to battle paying their municipal bills: The city will waiver 100% of interest previously charged should the customer choose to settle their account in full.

The city will offer a reduced payment requirement when entering a payment arrangement with only 10% required.

Customers will also not be to affordability checks. offer is valid until September 30.

Ratepayers who need to enter into a payment arrangements can email or visit their nearest customer service centres.

The Star Late Edition 28 Aug 2020


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