DURBAN – eThekwini Municipality customers who have been in arrears have been let off the hook after the city’s Executive Committee (EXCO) approved a report outlining special payment relief due to Covid-19.
eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele, explained that the report outlines a proposal to write off accrued debt as a relief to account holders with an arrears debt of 90 days or more.
Nsele added that the report took note of the City’s financial situation, which has taken a turn for the worse as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The City has always had a good collection rate which was often higher than 95% Before the lockdown on 27 March, the City had a collection rate of 94% The report states that while it was anticipated that cash collection for April would still be on a stable path as customers would have been received their monthly salaries, the collection rate for April however plunged to 56 percent, an ever-low collection rate for the City,” said the acting head.
According to Nsele, no interest will be charged on customer’s accounts during the lockdown period.
“These include no interest being charged on arrear accounts during the lockdown period and no credit control in the form of disconnections conducted during the lockdown,” added the city official.
The report outlines that if the customer pays 50% of their arrears on or before 30 June 2020, the remainder of the debt will be put on a payment plan for 24 months interest free. However, the incentive is only available to those customers with a debt of 90-days or older.
The communications head also stated that customers who default on these payments will be penalised.
“all interest written off will be reinstated where a customer defaults on the payment plan. Existing customers on a payment plan can be offered an opportunity to take part in this incentive as a once-off offering,” he said.
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