‘Lights out’ warning for Joburg this Christmas

 ·1 Nov 2023

The City of Johannesburg says it will target high defaulters this festive season to collect money owed in rates and services.

The city warned that non-paying property owners should brace themselves for a “powerless and waterless festive season” as it tries to recoup R52 billion in municipal debt.

“Revenue collection is the backbone of the City to enable sustained service delivery to better the lives of more than 6 million residents who depend daily on the availability of municipal services in Johannesburg,” said Kgamanyane Maphologela, the city’s Director for Customer Communications.

High defaulting properties on the city’s red list are set to have their services terminated due to constant nonpayment.

The city also warned that the termination of services can come with several additional costs to the customer, as the full outstanding amount will be expected to be paid, or a 50% deposit of the outstanding amount will be required to enter into a payment agreement before services are returned.

At worst, it can also call for a level three cut-off, which sees the city removing its meter from the property of the defaulting customer. After this, the restoration of services will require the customer to pay the full amount owed and the installation fee for the new meter.

“The city cautions its customers to pay their municipal accounts all the time when it is due to avoid termination of services and additional charges associated with it,” said Kgamanyane.

It stressed that revenue collections are crucial to its ability to deliver services and maintain infrastructure to more than 900,000 properties.

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