Johannesburg – The City of Joburg is reviewing its rates rebates and municipal service charges as part of the expanded social package (ESP) programme, to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on ratepayers.
Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo said the city appreciates the financial difficulties presented by the national lockdown for both the municipality and residents.
“The city’s leadership is reviewing the ESP programme’s current terms and conditions, which require policy adjustments to broaden the net for distressed ratepayers,” Matongo said.
He added that the City’s existing relief programme already offers rebates on all municipal account services that include property rates, water, electricity and refuse removal.
“However, since the Covid-19 pandemic forced a nationwide lockdown, the City and its residents are feeling the pinch. This is evident in the revenue collection figures for April, which dropped, a clear indication that residents’ income has been affected. This means the City has to align budgeted programmes accordingly, to ensure a more prudent approach to fiscal management of the current budget is adhered to, while finding innovative ways to continue meeting service delivery and developmental agenda,” Matongo said.
He added that an announcement on the City’s comprehensive contingency plan will be made after the Covid-19 Adjustment Budget is concluded and approved later this month.
“Meanwhile we appeal to residents who can still afford to pay their municipal accounts to continue doing so, to ensure that the delivery of basic services continues during this difficult time. It is through working together that we can overcome the challenges we are facing at this stage,” he said.
He also assured residents that the City would not cut off any services during the current Covid-19 lockdown period.