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City of Johannesburg Municipal Council approves Debt Rehabilitations programme

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“Tough economic times call for an innovative approach to mounting municipal debt” – this is the sentiment shared by MMC fr Finance, Councillor Funzela Ngobeni, as the City of Joburg approved a breakthrough debt-rehabilitation programme at Thursday’s (13 June 2019) Council sitting.

The debt rehabilitation programme aims to bring about a new approach to the increasing debtors in the City of Joburg.
For years, residents existing on the fringes of the active economy have struggled to pay for Municipal Rates and Services.

Several promises have been made – but in the absence of a proper mechanism to deal with the issue, consumer debt has continued to rise.

For years, this situation has been left unmanaged and resulted in a large debtor’s book and an insurmountable debt burden on the purse of our residents, who are already stretched, and battling to keep abreast during these hard financial times.

Through the approval of this debt rehabilitation programme, the City of Joburg will now be able to ensure that defaulting customers are brought back into good standing on their municipal accounts.

The broad concept of the programme hinges on an application process that will allow for strained household owners to apply for municipal debt rehabilitation.

Qualifying customers will receive immediate relief through a 50% debt write off. If the customer complies with all the requirements of the programme, which include keeping their current accounts up to date and allowing for regular inspection of metered services, then the remaining outstanding debt will be written off over a three-year period.

According to the approved report the criteria for the programme is:
·       Write-off is only applicable to residential account holders;
·       The account holders account balance is in arrears for more than 90 days as at 30 June 2019;
·       The combined gross income from all activities of the account holder/s and spouse must be between R4 750 and R22 000 per month; and
·       The market value of the property and all properties owned by the applicant must not exceed R600 000.00.
Following the approval of the report, the City will embark on educational roadshows during the month of August, with the application process set to start in September.