Pay or ... tough credit control changes

2016-11-03 06:00

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Athol Trollip announced stringent credit control measures as the institution’s debtors book reached R2 billion in outstanding revenue.

An off-set system that allowed accountholders still to buy electricity tokens whilst their accounts are in arrears, is also now a thing of the past.

“What we are saying, from today, is… if your account is more than 45 days in arrears, we are going to cut you off,” Mayor Trollip said.

“In order to remain sustainable we must be able to make sure that we get paid for the services that we provide for those who can afford to pay for it.

“If we do not maximize our revenue for the services that we provide, the first consequence of that is that we do not have enough means to provide services for those who cannot afford to pay.

“Up until very recently there has been an off-set system. When you go and buy electricity, some of the money will be off-set towards your arrears and you could buy electricity with the balance.

“It is no longer sustainable as it is not only poor people using that system. We got big companies, high energy users, and even residential areas not registered under the Assistance-to-the-Poor, that are off-setting.

“No organisation can sustain that,” Mayor Trollip said.

Tougher action

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality managed to collect revenue of R15,6 million over the last two weeks, after notices of intention to disconnect were issued.

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Budget and Treasury Retief Odendaal said the Coega Industrial Development Zone made an arrangement to pay their arrears of R21 million over the next six months and that they paid a further R6 million in August.

“They are expected to pay another R6 million this month. The Department of Health paid R6 million last week. A notice of intention to disconnect will be issued to the Department of Education to ensure that they pay R 5,7 million,” Odendaal said.

Last month 3400 prepaid meters were blocked in order to collect outstanding revenue valued at R17.2 million.

Necessary evil

Odendaal described the tougher credit control measures as a necessary evil.

“We have to look after our finances. Unfortunately this institution was not tough on credit control and we now have a debtors book of more than R2 billion.

“I want to assure the public that yes, we are getting tough on domestic accounts, but we are also getting tough on government accounts,” he added.

Odendaal committed his office to continue working towards an amicable solution with high energy users and hope that progress can be announced soon.

Mayor Trollip encouraged residents with an unmanageable debt load, to make arrangements with the municipality.

“It is essentially a stringent intervention to comply with having adequate reserves which should ideally be three months. Currently we have one month and nine days,” Trollip said.

  • Contact the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Customer Care Help-line at 041 506 5555 , e-mail customercare@mandelametro.gov.za or send a fax to 041-506 1304.

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