Municipal workers repair the leaking pipe.
- The City of Johannesburg has recorded an under-collection of R2.9 billion from ratepayers, narrowly missing a total service delivery shutdown.
- This thanks to ratepayers who paid their bills before the lockdown, but the City warned there is still a risk.
- It urged residents to continue paying their bills and called on those who cannot to make arrangements with it to avoid being cut off.
The City of Joburg says it has narrowly avoided a total service delivery shutdown thanks to ratepayers who kept their accounts up to date before the national lockdown began.
The City encouraged residents who can pay their bills to do so and warned there was still a risk to service delivery as revenue collection was still low.
It said it might need to reduce Pikitup waste collection schedules in some areas to cut costs.
In a statement on Wednesday, the City added it was able to stretch the revenue collected prior to the pandemic to balance between continued service delivery supply and demand during the lockdown.
It said it was on a shoestring budget, with a 30% reduction in staff capacity due to lockdown restrictions.
However, revenue collection was still low during the lockdown, with an under-collection of R2.9 billion during levels 5 and 4.
“The City battled to ensure that the residents of Johannesburg were supplied with the bare minimum of basic services that included running water, electricity, and waste management, which were essential to mitigate the spread of Covid-19,” it added.
The “financial devastation” which had occurred as a result of the lockdown meant many ratepayers were unable to pay their municipal bills.
“As a result, the continued supply of water and electricity as well as waste collection services across Johannesburg communities, was placed at risk,” the City said.
Service delivery still at risk
Due to revenue collection still being low, it added service delivery was at risk.
“[C]ontinuous service delivery is still at risk, and therefore requires that ratepayers who can afford to pay to do so.
“Residents who can no longer afford to pay their full municipal bills are encouraged to approach the City to enter into payment arrangements to avoid their services being cut off.”