Harare residents would appreciate that for service delivery to take place there has to be enough resources to fund the various service delivery activities. The city is faced with similar cash flow problems that are affecting any other sector of the economy and is also not immune to bill payment apathy by its various service delivery recipients.
Faced with a huge debt of nearly US$680 million the city had to use the best method to recover the money owed. Various options were weighed and the best among them were then put to use. These include the issue of debt collectors.
A decision was then made to engage Well Cash Debt Collectors to do the bidding on behalf of council.
The primary role of the debt collector is to collect money that is due to council. Nothing more nothing less. Complaints have been raised with regards the operations of the debt collector with some residents alleging that the debt collector was attaching their property. Attachment of property is not part of the deal with council. When council feels a debtor has played truant for a period exceeding set timelines the matter is escalated through the legal route resulting in the Messenger of Court being asked to attach property.
So in this case it is only the City of Harare through the Messenger of Court who attach property of defaulting ratepayers. Residents approached by the debt collector are encouraged to cooperate and enter into payment plans that they are able to respect.
But all the above scenarios can be avoided if the debtor comes to council and agrees to a payment plan. Once a payment is done and is religiously adhered to – council waivers interest on the principal debt. Meaning the debt will not grow but will subtract as one makes scheduled payments.
While one is paying off the accrued debts it is advisable to always pay the current.
Many people have often asked why the emphasis on bill payment versus service delivery. The demand to pay the bills is informed by the open realisation that service delivery is funded. Once customers begin to religiously pay their bills and the money is readily available – service delivery begins to flow and the need for debt collectors is erased.
For Harare to function well we all have a role to play. Help us in our quest to achieve a World Class City status by 2025.
Corporate Communications Manager
City of Harare