SOME Bulawayo residents have applauded council’s decision to adopt a new debt recovery policy that would see the local authority requesting employers to deduct outstanding debts from salaries of residents.
According to an 18-paged council credit control and debt collection policy, the objective is to ensure that all money due and payable to the city in respect of rates, fees for services, charges, tariffs and interest which have accrued on any amounts due and any collection charges are collected efficiently and promptly.
Council added that the long-term objectives of the policy were to reduce debtors by 4% annually, inculcate a culture of paying for services, minimise risk and proactively manage debts.
Some residents told Southern Eye the policy would ease their burden of recurring debts caused by ignorance.
Khethiwe Ngwenya from Njube said this would help her pay off council debt as people tended to relax when it came to paying bills.
“We welcome this decision by council to introduce a debt recovery policy because most of us tend to neglect paying our bills on time and end up spending money on other things resulting in us accumulating recurring debts,” Ngwenya said.
A Pumula resident, Mduduzi Nyathi, said the initiative was particularly good for civil servants.
“This is good, especially for civil servants. It will reduce the burden of going to queue to pay and the stress of having council debt,” Nyathi said.
Sazini Sibanda from Emganwini said the initiative was good and hoped that council would also improve on service delivery when it adopts this debt recovery policy.
“This policy is ok and we hope council plays its part in service delivery as it has been lacking,” Sibanda said.
A Pumula North resident Priscilla Chirata said the policy was a positive step in helping residents reduce their debts which has hindered service delivery.
“We have been accumulating ridiculous debts for a long time and poor service delivery from the city council, but this policy will bring change so that we don’t stress about council bills,” she said.
Famona resident Similo Mlotshwa said the policy was a good initiative, but it would be difficult to collect the debts from those who are not formally employed.
“This initiative is good because I won’t have the stress of council debts but what about those who are self-employed,” Mlotshwa said.
However, Mthulisi Moyo from Mpopoma disagreed with the policy saying it was biased.
“I think the present payment plan should continue because this policy is biased against those who are not formally employed.
“Council should introduce a policy which is uniform to all ratepayers in the city as we all have to pay our debts to council,” he said.