City of Joburg customers face blacklisting over unsettled debt

The City of Joburg has to recover more than R40 billion from unsettled accounts. Picture: File

The City of Joburg has to recover more than R40 billion from unsettled accounts. Picture: File

Published Apr 11, 2024


The City of Joburg (CoJ) is warning property and business owners who have defaulted on their monthly rates for more than 61 days that it intends to blacklist them soon as it looks to recoup more than R40 billion in municipal debt.

The City has been drowning in municipal debt of R52bn, which it intends to curb with aggressive credit control campaigns. CoJ will therefore be invoking its Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy by reporting defaulting payers to appropriate credit bureaus.

Furthermore, the City has organised a specialised revenue collection team that will specifically hound defaulting payers across the metro.

“The team will try to recoup the monies owed to the city. Residents who are in arrears with their municipal accounts and who have not made arrangements for settling their bills run the risk of being blacklisted,” said group chief financial officer Tebogo Moraka.

Moraka explained that customers who will be blacklisted are those whose accounts are in arrears for more than 61 days. The money owed must be recouped for the City to service its bills, such as Eskom and Rand Water.

“These customers are those who would have gone through all the City’s processes to get them to pay their debt, but had simply ignored all communication from the City. The City would have issued them with pre-termination notices informing them of the outstanding arrears and giving them 14 days to approach the City and settle their debt. The City would have also sent them final demand notices, sent SMSes and called them to remind them to urgently settle their accounts without success,” said Moraka.

Nkosana Lekotjolo, a representative from the City’s Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Group Finance Department, said customers will not only be blacklisted, which will affect their credit record, but also water and electricity will be cut off if accounts are not settled.

Moraka said: “All property owners who are struggling to service their accounts for various reasons should approach the City to avoid being cut off by making payment arrangements and signing an acknowledgement of debt.”