The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is calling upon account holders to urgently provide their prepaid electricity numbers 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. While some ratepayers have been proactive in paying their rates, irrespective of this problem, some have taken advantage. If the prepaid electricity number does not appear on an account holders statement, it becomes a challenge for the City to recover the debt.
“The call is centred around this administration’s commitment to transform Nelson Mandela Bay into a into a well-run city. This can only be realised if there is unity of purpose between the City and its ratepayers. Consistent 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,” said NMBM Mayoral Committee Member for Budget and Treasury, Cllr Retief Odendaal.
Councillor Odendaal said that the City was committed to improve the collection rate significantly to access the muscle to speed up service delivery. “While 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,” said Councillor Odendaal.
The blockages are expected to start in August 2017. When an account is blocked, if the City finds out that your account is up to date, you will only be expected to pay a reconnection fee. If it is discovered that a ratepayer’s account is in arrears, he will be expected to pay the amount owed or make a payment arrangement before an account is reopened. A connection fee will also have to be paid. At the end of May 2017, the collection rate of the City stood at 93.1%.
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