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Credit Control and Debt Collection By-law, 2017
- Published in KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Gazette no. 1868 on 17 August 2017
- Assented to on 28 June 2017
- Commenced on 17 August 2017
- [Up to date as at 31 May 2021]
PreambleWHEREAS the Municipality is entitled in terms of section 229 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, to impose rates on property and surcharges on fees for services provided by or on its behalf within its area of jurisdiction; WHEREAS the Municipality is entitled in terms of section 75A of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) to levy and recover fees, charges or tariffs in respect of any function or service of the Municipality and to recover collection charges and interest on any outstanding amount; WHEREAS the Municipality is obliged in terms of section 96 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) to collect all money that is due and payable to it, subject to the provisions of that Act and any other applicable legislation; AND WHEREAS the Municipality is obliged in terms of section 98 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000) to adopt By-laws to give effect to the Municipality’s credit control and debt collection policy, its implementation and enforcement; NOW THEREFORE the municipal council of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, acting in terms of section 156 read with Schedule 4 (Part B) and Schedule 5 (Part B) of the Constitution, and read with section 98 and 11 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000), hereby makes the following By-law:
1. DefinitionsIn this By-law, unless the context indicates otherwise─ "account" means written notification of municipal services, rates, sundry and other charges due to the Municipality, and addressed to a person liable for payment thereof; "acknowledgement of debt" means an admission of liability and written undertaking by a debtor to repay an amount owing to the Municipality, and includes a consent to judgement contemplated in section 58 of the Magistrates Court Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944); "agent" means a person authorised by the customer to act on his or her behalf; "arrears" means any amount which is due, owing and payable and which remains unpaid by the due date; "authorised official" means a person authorised to implement the provisions of this By-law, including but not limited to– (a) peace officers as contemplated in section 334 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977); (b) municipal or Metropolitan Police Officers as contemplated in the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995); and (c) such employees, delegated nominees, representatives and service providers of the Municipality: Provided that for the purposes of search and seizure, where such person is not a peace officer, such person must be accompanied by a peace officer; "availability fee" means a fee as determined in terms of the Municipality’s Tariff Bylaw and Tariff Policy; "CFO" means a person employed by the Municipality in terms of section 56 of the Systems Act as the Chief Financial Officer of the Municipality, and includes any person to whom the Chief Financial Officer has delegated or sub-delegated a power, function or duty in accordance with the system of delegation developed by the municipal manager in terms of section 79 of the Municipal Finance Management Act and section 59 of the Systems Act; "collection charges" means the charges which the Municipality is entitled to recover in terms of section 75A(1) of the Systems Act, and includes the administrative cost─ (a) of reminding any person of arrears; (b) for the termination, restriction or reinstatement of any municipal service to a defaulting person; (c) of any notice rendered, sent, delivered or published to a person in terms of this By-law or any other law; (d) of any merchant fee; and (e) in respect of any other charge which the Municipality is by law entitled to recover; "Constitution" means the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, as amended; "customer" means any person with whom the Municipality has entered into an agreement with for the provision of any municipal service to a premises; "deposit" means a monetary amount raised by the Municipality in relation to the consumption of a municipal service and mitigation of credit risk to the Municipality, irrespective of the existence of an agreement; "disconnection" means a termination or restriction of a municipal service supplied to a meter; "due date" means the date on which a person’s account becomes payable, which in the case of monthly accounts is 21 days from the date of the account, and in the case of annual accounts is the 31st of October each year; "fee" means a prescribed amount charged by the Municipality to a person for the provision of any municipal service; "illegal connection" means any connection or reconnection to a system through which municipal services are provided, where such connection or reconnection was not authorised or approved by the Municipality; "Ingonyama Trust land" means land held in trust by the Ingonyama Trust established in terms of section 2 of the Ingonyama Trust Act, 1994 (Act No. 3KZ of 1994); "juristic person" includes a partnership, a proprietor, association or other body of persons, corporate or unincorporated and includes a trust and organ of state; "municipal council" or "council" means the eThekwini municipal council, a municipal council referred to in section 157(1) of the Constitution; "Municipal Finance Management Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act, 2003 (Act No. 56 of 2003); "Municipality" means the eThekwini Municipality, as amended, a category A metropolitan municipality as envisaged in terms of section 155(1) of the Constitution; "municipal manager" means a person appointed in terms of section 54A of the Systems Act as the head of administration of the municipal council; "municipal service" means a service provided by the Municipality in terms of its powers and functions to or for the benefit of the local community, irrespective of whether or not– (a) such service is provided by the Municipality itself or by engaging an external mechanism contemplated in section 76 of the Systems Act; or (b) any fees, charges or tariffs are levied in respect thereof; "occupier" means any person who occupies any premises or part thereof, without regard to the title under which such person occupies the premises concerned; "owner"─ (a) in relation to a property referred to in paragraph (a) of the definition of "property", means a person in whose name ownership of the property is registered; (b) in relation to a right referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of "property", means a person in whose name the right is registered; (c) in relation to a land tenure right referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of "property", means a person in whose name the right is registered or to whom it was granted in terms of legislation, excluding permission to occupy; (d) in relation to public service infrastructure referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of "property", means the organ of state which owns or controls that public service infrastructure as envisaged in the definition of "publicly controlled"; and (e) includes a person whom the Municipality may for the purpose of this By-law regard as the owner of a property in the following cases: (i) trustees and beneficiaries jointly, in the case of property in a trust; (ii) an executor or administrator, in the case of a property in a deceased estate; (iii) a trustee or liquidator, in the case of a property in an insolvent estate or the owner of which is in liquidation; (iv) a judicial manager or business rescue practitioner, in the case of a property in the estate of a person under judicial management or business rescue; (v) a curator or administrator, in the case of a person whose estate has been placed under curatorship or administration; (vi) a person in whose favour a usufruct or other personal servitude has been registered and who shall be deemed to be a joint owner together with the registered owner; (vii) a lessee, in the case of a property that is registered in the name of the Municipality and is let by it to such lessee; (viii) a buyer, in the case of a property that was sold by the Municipality and of which possession was given to the buyer pending registration of ownership in the name of the buyer; (ix) a child or children in charge of the property in the case of child headed households; and (x) an owner as contemplated in terms of the Municipality’s policy dealing with municipal property rates; "person" means a natural person or juristic person; "Policy" means the Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy adopted by the council, as amended from time to time; "premises" means any piece of land, with or without any building or structure thereon where─ (a) the external surface boundaries of which are delineated on─ (i) a general plan or diagram registered in terms of the Land Survey Act, 1997 (Act No. 8 of 1997) or a document which has at any time prior to the commencement of that Act been accepted as a diagram in the Deeds Registry or Surveyor-General’s Office, or in terms of the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act No. 47 of 1937); or (ii) a sectional plan registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act No. 95 of 1986); (b) there is an official document in respect of rural land or Ingonyama Trust land, which is situated within the area of jurisdiction of the Municipality; or (c) a municipal service is rendered on land which is not specified on a plan; "property" means─ (a) immovable property registered in the name of a person, including, in the case of sectional title scheme, a sectional title unit registered in the name of a person; (b) a right registered against immovable property in the name of a person; (c) a land tenure right registered in the name of a person or granted to a person in terms of legislation, excluding a permission to occupy; or (d) public service infrastructure; "publicly controlled" means owned by or otherwise under the control of an organ of state, including a─ (a) public entity listed in the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No.1 of 1999); (b) municipality; or (c) municipal entity as defined in the Systems Act; "rates" means a municipal rate on property envisaged in section 229(1)(a) of the Constitution levied by the Municipality in terms of the Rates Act; "Rates Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Property Rates Act, 2004 (Act No. 6 of 2004); "sundry charge" means an amount charged to a person which is not directly linked to a property or premises, and which includes but is not limited to─ (a) charges arising from damages to municipal property and equipment; (b) monies owed for municipal services other than rates, water, electricity and sanitation; (c) monies awarded to the Municipality through court orders and judgments; (d) fines; and (e) monies owed to the Municipality by municipal staff. "Systems Act" means the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000); and "tenderer" means a contractor, service provider or supplier who has submitted a tender for the provision of services or the delivery of goods to the Municipality.
2. Interpretation of By-law
3. Objects of By-lawThe objects of this By-law are to─ (a) give effect to the Municipality's Policy, and its implementation and enforcement in terms of section 156(2) of the Constitution read with sections 96 and 98 of the Systems Act; (b) provide for the collection of monies due and payable to the Municipality; and (c) provide for matters incidental thereto.
4. Application of By-lawThis By-law applies throughout the Municipality's area of jurisdiction in respect of any─ (a) amounts billed and payable to the Municipality for rates or the provision of any municipal service; (b) amounts billed and payable to any service provider of the Municipality in respect of any municipal service provided by the service provider concerned on behalf of the Municipality; and (c) any other monetary amounts owing to the Municipality.
Requirements for the provision of municipal services
5. Registration for the provision of municipal services
7. Service agreement between the Municipality and a customer
8. Measurement of consumption
9. Review of existing service agreements
10. Termination of service agreements
11. Notice of complianceA written notice of compliance must be served on a customer or person─ (a) in order to avoid the service agreement to which the non-compliance relates being terminated in terms of subsection 10(1)(b); or (b) where there has been a breach of a provision of the By-law and the Municipality is of the opinion that it is necessary to serve such notice.
13. Account informationWithout limiting the amount of information which may be included by the Municipality in a customer's account, any account rendered by the Municipality to a customer must contain at least the following information: (a) the consumption or estimated consumption as determined for the relevant consumption period; (b) the period to which the consumption or estimated consumption relates; (c) the amount due based on the consumption or estimated consumption; (d) the amount due and payable for any other municipal service; (e) the amount due and payable for any sundry charge; (f) the amount in arrears, if any; (g) the interest payable on any arrears, if any; (h) collection charges insofar as they may be relevant; (i) the final date for payment; and (j) the methods, places and approved agents where payments may be made.
14. Account administration and monitoringThe Municipality must, subject to section 8, implement reasonable measures to ensure─ (a) accurate metering of consumption at fixed intervals; (b) limited delay between service connection and the first and subsequent rendering of accounts; (c) accurate and up-to-date information contained in accounts rendered to customers; (d) accurate monthly accounts with the application of the appropriate and correct prescribed fees, rates and other related amounts due and payable; (e) timely dispatch of accounts to correct address furnished by a customer; (f) adequate provision and the efficient operation of facilities for payment throughout the Municipality's area of jurisdiction; (g) where necessary, the appointment of agents to accept payments on behalf of the Municipality; and (h) appropriate and reasonable hours of business in order to facilitate account payments.
15. Responsibility for payment of account
16. Disputes in respect of accounts rendered by the Municipality
17. Failure to pay accounts on due date
18. Rates and municipal service charges upon the property
19. Termination or restriction of a municipal service
20. Reinstatement of the supply of a municipal service
21. Interest charges
22. Administration chargesA prescribed administration charge may be levied by the Municipality against the account of a customer in respect of any legal action taken by or on behalf of the Municipality in terms of this By-law or the Policy.
23. Municipality's discretion in appropriation of payments received
24. Actions for the recovery of outstanding amounts
25. Agreement with Employer
26. Acknowledgements of debt
Assistance to the poor and irrecoverable debts
27. Assistance to the poor
28. Irrecoverable debts
29. Municipality’s right of access to premises
30. Transmission of documentsWhere any account, notice or other document issued by the Municipality in terms of this By-law is required to be given or delivered by the Municipality to any person, such communication may be─ (a) posted by ordinary mail to the last known address of the person; (b) e-mailed to the person’s e-mail account provided; (c) messaged (sms’d) to the person’s cell phone number; or (d) be given or delivered in terms of Section 115 of the Systems Act or the Electronic Communications Act, 2005 (Act No. 36 of 2005).
31. Prima facie evidence of informationFor the purposes of the recovery of any amount due and payable to the Municipality in terms of this By-law─ (a) a copy of any relevant account; and (b) a certificate issued by the Municipality confirming the amount, shall constitute prima facie evidence of the information contained in such documents.
32. Update of customer detailsA customer or owner, as the case may be, must furnish the Municipality with updated information details of such person when a change of such information occurs, or on request by the Municipality, which includes but is not limited to─ (a) contact details of the customer or owner; (b) details of executors or administrators of deceased estates; (c) deregistration or termination of a company, close corporation or trust if the company, close corporation or trust is the account holder; (d) details of deceased─ (i) company directors; (ii) members of close corporations; or (iii) trustees of Trusts; (e) notice of a company or close corporation placed under business rescue or liquidation; or (f) any change of members, directors or trustees of a juristic person.
33. Illegal connections
Procurement of goods and services by the municipality
34. Procurement of goods and services by the Municipality
36. Offences and penalties
38. Repeal of laws and savings
- Entire By-law
- Chapter 1 – Interpretation
- Chapter 2 – Requirements for the provision of municipal services
Chapter 3 – Account administration
- 12. Accounts
- 13. Account information
- 14. Account administration and monitoring
- 15. Responsibility for payment of account
- 16. Disputes in respect of accounts rendered by the Municipality
- 17. Failure to pay accounts on due date
- 18. Rates and municipal service charges upon the property
- 19. Termination or restriction of a municipal service
- 20. Reinstatement of the supply of a municipal service
- 21. Interest charges
- 22. Administration charges
- 23. Municipality's discretion in appropriation of payments received
- 24. Actions for the recovery of outstanding amounts
- 25. Agreement with Employer
- 26. Acknowledgements of debt
- Chapter 4 – Assistance to the poor and irrecoverable debts
- Chapter 5 – Miscellaneous
- Chapter 6 – Procurement of goods and services by the municipality
- Chapter 7 – General
History of this By-law
17 August 2017 this versionPublished in KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Gazette no. 1868By-law commences.
28 June 2017Assented to by council.