On Wednesday the city of Johannesburg announced it had approved an improved debt relief programme that will include additional debt relief measures for property owners whose municipal accounts have fallen into arrears as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Johannesburg MMC for finance Jolidee Matongo said the improved programme will see qualifying ratepayers receive immediate relief through a 50% debt write off – with a further write-off on the outstanding debt over a three-year period for those who comply with the conditions of the relief programme.
The amnesty comes into effect from 1 May 2021 and residents can apply for the debt rehabilitation programme until 31 July 2021.
The programme’s new relief measures have also been extended to benefit small businesses, places of worship and non-profit organisations with a gross income of not more than R3 million.
The revamped debt rehabilitation programme which grants amnesty for accounts is for a limited period.
“The city therefore encourages qualifying residents and entities who have been financially strained as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic to take up the offered relief to update their municipal accounts,” Matongo said.
A write-off will be offered on condition the account holder settles the account in full as follows:
- Monthly gross income from all activities from R22,001 to R30,000 – 30% write-off of the debt above 90 days shall be offered. All interest and penalty charges shall be reversed.
- Monthly gross income from all activities from R30,001 to R40,000 – 20% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered. All interest and penalty charges shall be reversed.
- Monthly gross income from all activities from R40,001 to R50,000 – 10% write-off of the debt above 90 days will be offered. All interest and penalty charges shall be reversed.
- Above R50,000, all charges (such as disconnection fees) and interest will be reversed.