The City of Cape Town (CoCT) on Wednesday said it expected to lose up to R3 billion per month in unpaid bills due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) national lockdown.
The 21 days shutdown led to the closure of businesses and affected the income streams of many residents.
CoCT Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson said the city’s budget had a comprehensive social package of more than R3 billion for residents who qualified for rates rebates or indigent benefits.
However, he warned the lockdown could result in more residents being unable to afford their municipal bills.
The city’s cash flow could face an even bigger impact if those who could afford it refused to pay what is due.
“Many of our residents are experiencing a difficult financial situation, but we will not be able to deliver the services they expect from the city, especially during this time of crisis, if they don’t pay their municipal bills. Cash flow can turn negative between R1 billion and R3 billion per month,” Neilson said.
However, Neilson said help was available and those in desperate need should contact the city to arrange installment plans to pay off debt or apply for relief.