House debt riddle solved

2010-04-17 10:38

A dispute over a municipality debt of R8 256 is over for an

Ekurhuleni man.

Mandla Sibanyoni is even getting help to solve the bungle that led

to the debt being wrongly attributed to him.

“It is a relief to know that I am not liable for the debt,” he


Sibanyoni’s woes began when he applied for a low-cost house. He was

unemployed at that time. When he found a job, he acquired a home loan and

cancelled his ­application for a low-cost house.

In February last year, Sibanyoni received calls from debt

collectors representing the Lesedi Municipality in Heidelberg reminding him

about an unpaid account of R6 362. He explained to the debt collectors that it

was impossible that he could have such a debt because he had cancelled his


In November, when Sibanyoni had decided to go to the address of the

house the municipality had said was his, he discovered that somebody else was

living in it. At that time the debt stood at R8 256.

He did not resolve the issue with the municipality.

Sibanyoni then approached the provincial department of housing and


Department spokesperson Fred Mokoko said investigations had

­revealed that only one title deed was registered in Sibanyoni’s name and it was

for his current house in ­Daveyton, Ekurhuleni.

Mokoko said the occupant of the Heidelberg house was liable for the

debt and that she was occupying the house legally, even though she did not have

a title deed.

“Sibanyoni should contact the department and I will facilitate a

meeting with the relevant unit to sort out the matter,” said Mokoko.

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