City of Joburg increases cap by 50% of rehabilitation property value

Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo says the move from R600,000 to R1.5 million is intended to encourage people to pay and increase the city’s cash flow.

Eyewitness News reported that the city of Joburg has approved a debt rehabilitation program that includes additional relief measures for taxpayers amid the ongoing COVID -19 pandemic.

The new program policy includes an increase in the value of the qualifying property from R 600,000 to R 1.5 million.

This follows calls from city residents to review the terms and conditions of the initial relief program, which was first launched in 2019.

He said a program to grant amnesty to homeowners with overdue municipal accounts was due to go into effect next month.

Mayor’s committee member Jolidee Motongo said the enhanced relief program would provide eligible taxpayers with immediate relief through 50 percent debt forgiveness.

When the first phase of the Debt Rehabilitation Program was introduced, the property value was capped at R600.00 and few of our residents or landlords signed up for the program because when you look at your own statement it gives you indicates what is your property value.

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

The response to the program has not been very good and throughout the city’s public participation processes people have raised the issue to say increase the land value cap, which we did in the second phase of the program. program.

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

We are looking at the current debt to the city, which is over R30 billion. With this program, if all 343,000 homeowners below the 1.5 million rand threshold adopt the program and qualify in terms of the criteria, we will write off approximately 11 billion rand from the city’s debtors’ ledger.

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

It is not primarily a question of bringing money into the city, but of debt to the city. We write off about R11 billion out of over R30 billion from the debtors’ ledger. But for now, we hope people come forward because people get their bills and say, “I owe the city 60,000 rand, there’s no way I’m paying, I might as well forget.”

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

They could do whatever they want. But if you tell them that if you are eligible for the program immediately we write off 50% of the debt, we pay what is due and payable monthly on your municipal bill, we hope more and more people will be inclined to show up and pay their municipal bills because more and more are saying the bill is too much that I just can’t afford.

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

Therefore, the program also aims to relieve the residents, but also to encourage them to participate in the program so that they pay, and the city can be liquid by having cash in the bank so that we can provide the services. .

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

What about the city’s ability to enforce debt collection?

The capacity is there. We have a group of lawyers who we have assigned to collect the debt on our behalf, but we also have our regional client centers and our outbound call centers who call clients to remind them of the debt they owe. We spend no less than R50 million a year to pay the law firms that help us collect the debt.

Jolidee Matongo, Finance MMC – City of Johannesburg

Listen below for the full interview …


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