eThekwini Municipality extends Covid-19 debt relief to customers

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request has been made for the extension of the current Covid-19 debt relief giving customers until 30 June 2021 to make payment arrangements.

THE Finance Cluster has requested for an extension of the current Covid-19 debt relief that is set to close 31 December.

The extension will run until the end of the financial year giving customers until 30 June 2021 to make payment arrangements.

This was tabled in a report at the Executive Committee Meeting, held on 14 December and is subject to approval at Full Council scheduled today, 15 December.

The extension for the relief is due to the continued financial constraints experienced by many customers, both residents and business as a result of the continuing economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

Deputy City Manager of Finance, Dr Krish Kumar, explained that the response to the relief initiated earlier in July assisted the City’s outstanding debt collection.

However, many customers are still having difficulty in making payments.

The report includes an amendment to the initial criteria that allows customers to enter into a payment agreement with a lesser down payment than the current 10 per cent and 25 per cent required for residents and businesses respectively.

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The extended relief will allow for a customer to enter into a credit agreement with the Municipality on condition that the owing customer pays a percentage of the arrears (excluding interest) on or before 30 June 2021.

The debt must be 90 days and older.

Total interest accumulated and raised to the customer account will be reversed.  The customer will enter into a payment plan agreement for the balance of the outstanding debt over a maximum period of 24 months and there will be no interest raised during the period of the payment plan agreement. Existing customers on a payment plan may cancel the existing agreement and enter into this once-off relief.

Should a customer default on the payment plan with the Municipality, all interest written-off under the conditions of Covid-19 Special Payment Relief will be reinstated and the total debt (including interest) will be due for collection.

In addition, support and relief have already been implemented for B&Bs and guesthouses whereby they will receive a Covid-19 rebate to bring their rates payable to the same level as residential. B&B and guesthouse rates relief application forms are obtainable from the website http://www.durban.gov.za/City_Government/Administration/Administrative Clusters/treasury/Revenue_Services/Pages/Application–Forms.aspx and may be returned to email address Revlineresponse@durban.gov.za. Further enquiries may be addressed to http://correspondence.durban.gov.za:200/.

Customers are encouraged to submit their applications electronically, where possible. For assistance in benefiting from Covid-19 debt repayment plan, customers may visit the regional Customer Services Centres or Contact Centre (0800 311 1111).

Queries can be sent via the correspondence portal: http://correspondence.durban.gov.za:200/ or visit the nearest Customer Centre.

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