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City of Joburg writes off about R11.7 billion of resident’s debt

debt relief for Joburg residents
Image | City of Joburg

Over the last year, Johannesburg residents have been struggling to keep up with payment on their accounts. With many being financially impacted by COVID-19, the City of Joburg says it wants to write off about R11.7 billion, as part of its debt rehabilitation programme.

Kaya Biz’s Gugulethu Mfuphi recently spoke to Joledee Matongo, MMC of Finance of the City Of Joburg who broke down what residents in arrears and who meet the criteria can do to apply to have their debts written off.

Listen to the full interview here: 

 

READ: OUTA takes on City of Johannesburg over billing system

Matongo says there’s over 30 billion owed by the city’s residents at this stage, and that when it comes to revenue collection in the city there’s been a tremendous decline since COVID-19 hit. He also shed light on how the city had to forego 400 million in the first part of the intervention.

“We’ve seen that households have been hardest hit by COVID-19, and we thought as a city we need to come with an intervention. The first part of the intervention was the property rate, which is part of the bill you receive from the municipality, were property owners were exempted to pay that for 3 months.

He says this time round those who owe the city for over a period of 90 days by 30th December 2020, the city is prepared to write off about 50% of their debt.

READ: WATCH: Frustrated Laerskool Theresapark parents physically remove principal

How do you qualify?

  • Applicants must be registered owners of the property;
  • Only residential, small business, churches and non-profit organization account holders may apply;
  • Account holders’ balance must be in arrears for more than 90 days as at 31 December 2020;
  • The combined gross income from both the residential account holder/s/applicant/s and spouse/s must be between R4 750 and R22 000 per month;
  • Where the monthly gross income from both the residential account holder/s/applicant/s and spouse/s is more than twenty-two thousand rand (R22 000.00), only a percentage of the debt above 90 days shall be written off on condition that the account holder/s settles that account in full. The scale to be used will be:
    – Between R22 000 to R30 000 = 30% write-off of the debt above 90 days shall be offered; all interest and penalty charges shall be reversed;
    – Between R30 001 to R40 000 = 20% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered; all interest and penalty charges shall be reversed;
    – Between R40 001 to R50 000 = 10% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered; all interest and penalty charges shall be reversed;
    – Above R50 001 = all charges (e.g. disconnection fees) and interest charges shall be reversed
  •  The market value of the residential property or combined properties owned by the applicant must not exceed R1 500 000 based on the City’s Valuation Roll;
  • All small businesses, churches, and nonprofit organizations will be required to provide the latest audited annual financial statements with turnover not exceeding R3 000 000 and six months bank statements at the date of submission of the application. 

For more information on the revamped debt rehab programme and to see if you qualify, go to www.joburg.org.za or visit the nearest municipal customer service centre.

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