The Executive Committee approved a report outlining special payment relief due to Covid-19 for customers in arrears during an online meeting held today, 19 May.
The tabled report outlines a proposal to write off accrued debt as a relief to account holders with arrear debt of 90 days or more.
The report notes that the City’s financial position has changed drastically as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. The City has always had a good collection rate which varied between 95 percent to 105 percent. Before the lockdown on 27 March, the City had a collection rate of 94 percent. The report states that while it was anticipated that cash collection for April would still be on a stable path as customers would have been received their monthly salaries, the collection rate for April however plunged to 56 percent, an ever-low collection rate for the City.
Some measures to provide relief to customers already implemented were outlined. These include no interest being charged on arrear accounts during the lockdown period and no credit control in the form of disconnections conducted during the lockdown.
The report outlined this further measure to provide relief to customers including the initiative to reverse the total interest raised to a customers account if the customer pays 50 percent of their arrears on or before 30 June 2020 with the remainder of the debt to be put on a payment plan which should not exceed 24 months interest free. This incentive will only be offered to customers with debt of 90 days or older.
However, all interest written off will be reinstated where a customer defaults on the payment plan. Existing customers on a payment plan can be offered an opportunity to take part in this incentive as a once-off offering.