Plea for payment

2016-06-08 06:00
THABO MANYONI  Photo: Mglungisi Louw

THABO MANYONI Photo: Mglungisi Louw

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RESIDENTS of the Mangaung Metro (Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and Thaba Nchu) will receive a 2% discount on their municipal accounts when they pay before the third of each month. The incentive is valid until 29 July this year.

Following the new incentive by the Mangaung Metro agreed on at the latest meeting, clients of households will receive a 35% discount when they pay cash to settle debt older than one year, said Hans Britz, DA councillor.

Those willing to settle debt older than a year will receive a 25% discount. All debts of households older than three years will be written off.

The municipal accounts of the Mangaung Metro from Centlec (the electricity supplier) are excluded. This entity will later announce its incentive scheme.

Article 21 schools will receive a 50% discount if they pay cash to settle debt older than a year and, when making arrangements for payment, will receive a 25% discount. Debt older than three years will be written off.

Churches and other non-governmental organisations, which are not profit-making organisations, will receive a 20% discount on debt older than a year when they pay cash, as well as a 10% discount when they make arrangements.

The incentive excludes accounts by the electricity supplier Centlec.

Businesses will receive no discount when they pay cash to settle debt, but the interest will be written off. If business owners make arrangements with the metro, they will get six-month period to settle accounts, while interest will not be charged in that period.

Britz said the clients of the municipality had to realise that their debt is only settled when the municipality issues them with a receipt.

“Therefore, the 2% discount will not apply when you pay your account electronically on the third of the month. This will be too late, as the municipality will not receive the payment on the same day,” said Britz.

Britz has raised concerns that debt for municipal services to the metro now amounted to R3,166 billion. He also stated that one of the facts of life was that debt would not just disappear.

In the wake of the incentive scheme offered to residents, Thabo Manyoni, the Mangaung Metro’s executive mayor, bitterly lamented the city’s poor revenue collection resulting from non-payment of services. He expressed grave concern on Tuesday, 31 May when he tabled the council’s budget tariff and Integrated Development Planning (IDP) for the 2016-’17 financial year, as well as the Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework (MTREF) for 2017-’18.

Manyoni said the council’s findings are that most households were failing to keep up with the payment of their accounts.

“Over the past few months, the city’s cash coverage ratio has dropped significantly. This has been mainly attributed to non-payment to provincial government departments for services rendered, abnormal increases in Bloem Water bulk supply tariffs, as well as the lack of transfer of inter-company loan payments, which is supposed to be made by Centlec to the municipality. This undesirable situation poses a huge risk to the financial health of the city.

“The current economic environment is affecting our community, rate payers and businesses negatively. For this reason, the council has decided to give incentives to the rate payers who settle their accounts in full or make arrangements to pay their accounts. This offer is valid until 29 July 2016. I appeal to our schools, churches, businesses and our residential consumers to make use of this opportunity,” Manyoni said.

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