Joburg improves credit management process

Dr Rabelani Dagada, the MMC for Finance, says ideally he wants a situation where the City doesn't have to terminate services because ratepayers are able to manage their municipal debt.

For many residents disconnections from the City of Johannesburg’s services have become a reality. 

The City said there has been a public outcry about the termination of services after non-payment. This prompted the City to introduce new measures before residents municipal services are disconnected.

City Buzz is aware of residents whose water was throttled and electricity cut during a dispute with the City.

Dr Rabelani Dagada, MMC of Finance, said even one wrongful termination is one too many and he is doing all he can to reverse the City’s long standing billing crisis.

“Over the past months, we’ve received numerous complaints from customers for alleged wrong disconnections. We have promised the residents of Johannesburg that we will run a caring, responsive and professional government. It is on this premise that we found it necessary to improve the credit management process, in particular, the process of termination of services,” Dagada said.

He explained that defaulting customers will be managed at a higher level.

“Ideally, we want a situation where the City doesn’t have to terminate services because ratepayers are able to manage their municipal debt.”

To improve the accuracy of disconnections, Dagada said verification will be done by the group head of the Revenue Shared Services Centre and reviewed by the director of credit management before the final go-ahead to disconnect.

How it works:

  • The credit management process starts with demands for payments that are due to the City. Due dates for payments are usually 15 to 21 days from the date of invoice. Customers are contacted by the City’s outbound collections team a few days before payment is due and when payments are three days overdue. After another three days have passed without payment a pre-termination notice is issued
  • The pre-termination notice gives the customer 14 days to make payment or make a payment arrangement
  • If payment is not received and no payment arrangement has been made, services are disconnected within seven days after the termination notice expired
  • Arrears of more than 60 days are handed over for legal collection.

The City implements these measures in order to collect 84.7 per cent of the R59 billion budget it gets from rates and taxes.What are your thoughts about the new process? Let us know by sending an email to [email protected]

Related articles:
‘Great, I’ve been disconnected’ 

‘Residents confirm change has taken root in Joburg’

National government commits R188m for inner city housing developments 

Chantelle Fourie

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