MMC for Finance calls for those who can afford to pay up
The Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Finance in the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Dada Morero, says there’s no excuse for communities who can afford to pay for municipal services not to do so.
He has also called for greater protection of vulnerable communities.
Cllr Morero is on the drive across the City, engaging with communities and stakeholders. He
has called on residents who can afford to pay to do the right thing and pay up for services
they have consumed. He said the City seeks greater collaborations with communities to find
Cllr Morero pleaded with communities to prioritise their municipal accounts, in the same way they prioritise luxuries such as pay TV and retail shop accounts.
“If the municipality doesn’t get the money from ratepayers, we can’t do all the service delivery things that more and more of our communities are calling for. Residents must find a healthy balance between paying for their municipal accounts and DStv accounts,” said Cllr
He warned that the City’s coffers were fast drying up due to the culture of non-payment.
According to Cllr Morero, about 65% of its annual budget comes from revenue from
The City is expected to be self-funding, and raise revenue from these three key sources of services (electricity and water supplies, and the property taxes known as rates). The money raised not only pays for basic services such as roads, refuse collection, traffic control, sewers, and water, but also for an expanded community police service, housing for the poor,
and a refurbished bus service amongst other services.
Municipalities generate or receive income from a variety of sources including grants and
subsidies from the national government, loans, fines, and penalties that the municipalities issue.
“Residents must continue to pay their municipal accounts on time and in full to ensure that they have electricity, clean and sufficient water, their waste is collected regularly, and have better roads to drive on,” said Cllr Morero.
Addressing another community, this time around in Ennerdale, south of Johannesburg, in
Region G on Saturday, 20 May 2023, Cllr Morero refuted claims that the whole of Ennerdale
was unable to pay for municipal services.
Cllr Morero told Ennerdale community that he has also pleaded with the middle-class group
in Soweto to pay for the municipal services because they can afford it.
“It’s not true that everyone here in Ennerdale cannot pay. You pay for services according to the level of your consumption. If you consume too much of electricity and water, you will pay according to your consumption,” said Cllr Morero.
Cllr Morero committed that the Group Finance Department, which is under his watch, will roll out a three-month programme in Ennerdale to help resolve billing queries in the area. During this period, residents won’t be negatively affected by the City’s Credit Control action until their billing issues are solved.
“We are going to have a programme in place with you as residents, where we will announce
the dates. We will come to you to address all affected accountholders until we have resolved
the problems,” said Cllr Morero.
He called on all indigent residents to come forward with evidence, which shows that indeed
they are unemployed and cannot afford to pay for services so that they can qualify to
access various rebates and basket other social services in the form of Expanded Social
Pensioners (aged 60 and above) whose property value does not exceed R2 500 000 qualify
for rebates on their rates, sewer, and refuse of between 70 and 100%. It is the responsibility
of individual citizens to visit municipal offices to apply for the rebate.
“We say we will give you 6kl of free water. We will also give you 50kw of electricity. No one
can take this away from you. But you also have a responsibility to manage both your
electricity and water consumption,” said Cllr Morero.
He said the City was losing 30% of the water through, among others, water wastage in
communities, vandalism of infrastructure, leaks, and burst pipes, which would need stronger partnerships with communities and stakeholders to resolve.
Customers who suddenly find themselves unable to pay their monthly municipal bills are
encouraged to sign an Acknowledgement of Debt and agree on a payment arrangement
plan, where they would be able to pay a determined amount, they can afford.