THE Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) is calling on account holders to provide their prepaid electricity numbers urgently in cases where prepaid electricity numbers do not reflect on their municipal statements to avoid the blockage of their accounts.
This follows a poor response by affected ratepayers to messages that the city has communicated through account holder statements since last year.
The NMBM spokesperson, Mthubanzi Mniki, said while some ratepayers have been proactive in paying their rates, irrespective of this problem, some have taken advantage.
â€œIf the prepaid electricity number does not appear on an account holderâ€™s statement, it becomes a challenge for the city to recover the debt.â€?
The NMBM mayoral committee member for budget and treasury, Councillor Retief Odendaal, said that the call is centred around the administrationâ€™s commitment to transform Nelson Mandela Bay into a well-run city.
â€œThis can only be realised if there is unity of purpose between the city and its ratepayers.
â€œConsistent payment of rates and services is at the centre of achieving such a commitment. We call upon ratepayers to work with us on this to avoid unnecessary inconvenience,â€? Odendaal said.
He added that the city is committed to improve the collection rate significantly to speed up service delivery.
â€œWhile protecting the poorest of the poor through the Assistance to the Poor Programme (ATTP), those that can pay must pay consistently. This gives us the power to create a safe city that is inclusive in its approach of opening up opportunities.â€?
Mniki explained that the blockages are expected to start next month.
â€œWhen an account is blocked, and the city finds that your account is up to date, you will only be expected to pay a reconnection fee.
â€œIf it is discovered that a ratepayerâ€™s account is in arrears, he will be expected to pay the amount owed or make a payment arrangement before an account is reopened.
â€œA connection fee will also have to be paid. At the end of May, the collection rate of the city stood at 93.1%.â€?