ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
4 December 2018
 
Executive Committee Decisions
 
Reinstatement of Electricity for Customers Currently In Debt
 
In an effort to enhance service delivery and ensure residents have access to basic services such as electricity, customers who are in arrears will have access to the reinstatement of electricity services. This is provided that an Acknowledgement of Debt in favour of the Municipality for the total outstanding debt has been signed and that the customer enters into a Credit Authority for the full amount.
This follows the tabling of a report at the final Executive Committee meeting for 2018 held today, 4 December.
 
The initial report was tabled at the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee on 30 November granting authority to, in certain instances, deviate from the current Credit Control Policy 2018/19 and grant a Credit Authority to residential property supply.
 
The report states that the deposit amount and payment terms of the Credit Authority will be calculated with due cognisance of the affordability level of the customer, however the period for the agreement must not exceed 36 months. The customer will continue to have access to electricity service as long as the terms and conditions of Acknowledgment of Debt and Credit Authority are honoured.
 
The report states that the reinstatement connection costs and any additional amounts raised due to the reinstatement of service, which will only be a prepaid meter, may be fully allocated to the Credit Authority or appropriately apportioned as opposed to an upfront payment.
 
The proportion to be justified will be based on the level of affordability of the affected customer with the costs to be spread over the duration of 36 months.
 
It is important to note that the current Credit Control Policy however still remains enforceable.
 
Chairperson of the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Mondli Mthembu said a number of eThekwini residents are facing tough economic times. This was therefore a lifeline to customers to enter into an agreement to pay their debt while their electricity supply is reinstated, he said.
 
“They will not be disconnected after they have filled in an affordability form and an affordability assessment has been done, provided that they honour their payments. Their meters will be removed and be replaced with prepaid meters to ensure they can monitor their usage,” said Councillor Mthembu.
 
He said it was important for the community to know that they, as the City leadership, have introduced this measure as a progressive government in the City.
 
Deputy City Manager of Finance Krish Kumar agreed saying this was a progressive way of managing service delivery. He said it would ensure people have services as long as they keep to the credit arrangements.
 
FURTHER PLANNING TO ENSURE CONTINUED SUCCESS OF THE REED DANCE
 
While there were some challenges experienced at the Umkhosi Womhlanga (Reed Dance) held in September this year, overall the event was a resounding success with the maidens and matrons happy with the continued support of eThekwini Municipality.
 
This was outlined in a report tabled at an Executive Committee meeting held today, 4 December.
 
The Reed Dance took place at the Nyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma from 6 to 9 September.
 
The tabled report aimed to appraise the Executive Committee of some of the challenges experienced as well as future plans to ensure maidens were adequately cared for. The City provided 60 buses for the maidens and one for maidens with disabilities while the
 
Department of Arts and Culture provided 18 buses. Over 5 000 maidens attended the event.
 
One of the challenges listed in the report included the number of maidens who attended exceeding the expected number as some maidens who were not given accreditation came to the event using their own transport. Other issues included rain experienced over the weekend resulting in the marquees flooding, poor control as well as insufficient accommodation and sleep sponges to accommodate all the maidens and issues with catering.
 
The report recommended that a review and evaluation meeting to assist in planning the way forward be held urgently as well as the Department of Arts and Culture involving councillors and City officials in their planning meetings. The feasibility of eThekwini Municipality securing their own additional sleeping marquee was also recommended as well as stricter and tighter control by the Department of Arts and Culture.
 
The report concludes that the Royal Reed Dance 2018, despite the challenges, was a huge success adding that the maidens and matrons were very happy and expressed their appreciation to the Municipality for their continued support. The report also noted that there has been a great improvement in working relations ships between all stakeholders.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Acting Head of Communications Mandla Nsele.
 
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