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City of Joburg on a mission to resolve long-standing problem of unpaid bills

30 July 2020 2:35 PM
Tags:
City of Joburg
Jolidee Matongo

MMC for finance Jolidee Matongo says it is not fair that a query can remain unresolved over a period of a year or years.

The City of Joburg has about R30-billion in unpaid residential bills. It is now effectively admitting that its billing system is a problem and, according to reports this morning, it says it will fix the mess by writing off your debt of those who have a long-standing unresolved query.

Mandy Wiener on The Midday Report speaks to City of Joburg MMC for finance Jolidee Matongo for more on this.

The billing challenges will always be there, it depends on the magnitude. Someone may be charged exorbitantly today and you can't say we don't have a billing problem.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

It's work-in-progress, we are dealing with the issues on a day-to-day basis, but we have asked the administration to give us an age analysis of the queries on people's bills over a period of time because we feel it's not justifiable for us as a city to hold against a query that would not have been resolved over a period of a year or years. It's quite unfair, it is a problem of the resident.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

If you've logged a query and the city fails to resolve it within a period of 90 days, it can't be justifiable that we still hold it against you.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

We will take reports to a council meeting because it is the council who must take a decision to write off that debt. We will introduce a second phase of a debt rehabilitation programme, where people are expected to come forward and make payment arrangements to say: ' I owe the city and will continue to pay my current consumption per month' and if you religiously do that over a period of 12 months, we will then write off 50% of the debt you owe.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

In the second year of the programme, should continue paying your monthly consumption we will then write off the rest of the 50% of the debt.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

We are also looking at debt that has prescribed because by law if we have been unable to collect the debt for a period of three years and we have not demonstrated that we took active steps to collect it, that debt must be written off.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

There are people who owe the city who do not have billing queries. Those people will still continue to chase to pay their debts. But those who have logged queries and have not been paying the city for those particular line items, for instance, if I say my water bill for the month is R40,000 but I am usually paying R3,000 and I have logged a query and it has not been resolved by the city for two years, those are the cases we will zoom into and help the residents on.

Jolidee Matongo - City of Joburg Finance MMC

Listen below for the full interview...


30 July 2020 2:35 PM
Tags:
City of Joburg
Jolidee Matongo

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