Wealthy 'bill dodger' properties to be attached
The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is toughening its stance on bill dodgers by going after the properties of those who own multiple homes or buildings.
It will specifically target account defaulters who own three properties or more and will go after the most expensive properties with the highest arrears first.
The city’s bean counters revealed‚ at a budget and treasury committee meeting on Friday‚ that the metro would implement a clause in its credit-control policy and attach properties after exhausting all other credit-control measures.
The move comes amid a desperate attempt by the municipality to recoup about R3.2bn – owed by households‚ companies and government departments.
Its revenue-collection strategies have not worked‚ with the debtors book increasing by about R100m in the last few months instead of decreasing.
The director of revenue management and customer care‚ Mbuzeli Nogqala‚ said on Friday: “Our debtors book is showing an upward trajectory and unlike other metros‚ our municipality doesn’t write off debt – it’s something we don’t do and I think it’s something we need to look at.
“The economic climate in our country is forcing us to start having that conversation. People are really battling – our [water] tariffs are very stiff.”