The eThekwini Municipality is urging struggling ratepayers to take advantage of the Debt Relief Programme before the year concludes.
Recently reinstated, this initiative permits ratepayers grappling with municipal bills to clear their outstanding debt over a maximum span of 36 months.
The programme, targeting both residential and business customers. Focuses on those finding it challenging to service their debts to the municipality.
Who qualifys for the debt relief?
To qualify for relief, the debt must be 90 days or older, requiring a 5% deposit for residential and 10% for business customers.
Lihle Ndzelu, the Head of the Revenue Management Unit, emphasised that an agreement will be signed, and accrued interest will be written off during this process.
“Customers have up to 36 months to settle all outstanding debt. Once the arrangement is made, customers have to honor it, and if a customer defaults on payment or pays less than the required installment, all written-off interest will be reinstated,” explained Ndzelu.
The programme extends its benefits to who?
The programme extends its benefits to non-profit organizations, including old age homes, facilities for people with disabilities, mental hospitals, and Early Childhood Development centers.
These organizations can enjoy a substantial 50% capital debt write-off upon entering a payment arrangement. Contingent on avoiding arrears within 12 months post debt settlement.
Ndzelu stressed the municipality’s recognition of the financial strain on residents.
“As a caring city, we must do all we can to alleviate the financial burden on the municipality’s valued residents,” said Ndzelu.
The programme, initially approved and implemented from December 2022 to February 2023, was reinstated due to customer requests.
For more details on the programme, customers are encouraged to visit their nearest Sizakala Centre. Providing all necessary documentation when applying for assistance.
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