The eThekwini Municipality is giving customers who are in arrears on their electrical accounts the opportunity to have their services reinstated by signing an Acknowledgement of Debt in favour of the Municipality for the total outstanding debt.

Customers will also need to enter a Credit Authority for the full amount. The announcement follows tabling of a report at the final Executive Committee meeting for 2018 held recently.

The initial report, which was tabled at the Human Settlements and Infrastructure Committee in November, granted the Municipality the authority, in certain instances, deviate from the current Credit Control Policy 2018/19 and grant a Credit Authority to residential property supply.

Terms of the agreement

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.

Tough economic times

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,” Mthembu said.

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.