Illegal Debt Collection By The State

Alarming news has recently developed in Johannesburg over the last few months. The Democratic Alliance, through an inquiry into debt collection, has uncovered that the City of Johannesburg is illegally collecting on debts that until this point have been outstanding.

Due to changes that were made to the Consumer Protection Act, the City of Johannesburg has been illegally extending debt collection on arrears older than 3 years.  Arrears older than three years which are attached to properties and can include non-payment on utilities, should not be collected but written off. Many residents who have been caught unawares by debt collection processes instigated by the City has led to debt agreements that they are unable to pay. There were residents who were still expected to pay interest on settled debt and instances whereby clearance certificates were issued.

The City of Johannesburg declares that all debts linked to the property are still able to be pursued and that they are attempting to prevent the act of illegally consumed utilities and action that has led to millions of rands worth in uncollected debt in Johannesburg. If there is to be any more clarity regarding the matter it is quite obvious that the various acts need to be revisited.

Recent statistical reports indicate that not only is South Africa, the country, in significant debt, but because of unemployment at the rate of 35% its occupants are also experiencing more debt. The delivery of services has gone up from 50% to 56% which could also be a reason for the non-payment of utilities.  The increasing number of individuals accessing electricity is an enormous problem as many of them do not pay for the service.

JA Attorneys are specialist debt collection lawyers in Johannesburg. Contact us today.