Johannesburg property owners whose municipal accounts are in arrears have until 31 July to apply for the city’s improved debt rehabilitation programme, which offers amnesty to those afflicted by the Covid-19 lockdown.
The newly introduced relief measures are designed to ease the financial burden on ratepayers amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, said the city’s MMC for finance, Jolidee Matongo.
He added that the threshold of property value that qualifies for debt relief has increased from R600,000 to R1.5 million following calls from residents to review the terms and conditions of the initial relief programme.
Matongo said the new programme will see qualifying ratepayers receive immediate relief through a 50% debt write-off with a further write-off on the outstanding debt over three years, for those who comply with conditions of the relief programme.
To qualify, ratepayers should keep their current municipal accounts updated by paying on time and by paying the agreed amounts, he said.
Ratepayers also need to allow for regular inspections of metered services and for the installation of smart meters where required.
“The city encourages qualifying residents and entities who have been financially strained, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to take up the offered relief to update their municipal accounts,” he said.
“Where the monthly gross income from all household activities from the residential account holder is more than R22,000 a month, additional write-offs will be offered provided the accountholder settles the bill in full.”
For residents who earn that more than this amount, the following write-offs will apply:
- If monthly gross income from all household activities is between R22,001 and R30,000, a 30% write-off of the debt above 90 days shall be offered and all interest and penalty charges will be reversed.
- If monthly gross income from all household activities is between R30,001 and R40,000, a 20% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered and all interest and penalty charges shall be reversed.
- If the monthly gross income from all household activities is between R40,001 to R50,000, a 10% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered and all interest and penalty charges shall be reversed.
Matongo said ratepayers may download the revamped Debt Rehabilitation programme on the city’s website, or visit their nearest municipal revenue centre for more information.