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Credit Control, Tariffs and Debt Collection By-law, 2009
- Published in Western Cape Provincial Gazette no. 6675 on 9 November 2009
- Commenced on 9 November 2009
- [Up to date as at 9 October 2020]
1. DefinitionsFor the purposes of this by-law, unless the context otherwise indicates—"account holder" means any person who is due to receive a municipal account, which includes a user of pre-paid electricity or water;"annual budget" means the budget approved by the municipal council for any particular financial year, and includes any adjustments to such budget;"applicant" means a person who applies for the supply of municipal services;"availability charge" means a fixed monthly or annual charge levied against the owner of the property which is based on the cost for providing a municipal service to the premises;"billing" means invoicing on a municipal account to an account holder of an amount or amounts payable for rates, metered services, other municipal charges, levies, fees, fines, taxes, or any other amount or amounts payable arising from any other liability or obligation;"consumer" means the occupier of any premises to which the municipality has agreed to supply or is actually supplying municipal services, or if there is no occupier, then any person who has entered into a service agreement with the municipality for the supply of municipal services to such premises, or, if there be no such person, then the owner of the premises, and "domestic consumer" or "domestic user" of municipal services means the person or household to which municipal services are rendered in respect of residential property;"consumer price index" means the consumer price index (CPIX) as determined and gazetted by the South Bureau of Statistics;"Council" means the Council of the Bergrivier Municipality (or any service provider to the municipality);"credit control" means all the functions relating to the collection of revenue;"customer management" means the focusing on the account holder’s needs in a responsive and proactive way to encourage payment and thereby limiting the need for enforcement;"customer service centre" means and serves as—(a)an office where an applicant may apply for services and enter into a service agreement with the municipality;(b)an office where an account holder may settle an account or may make pre-payment for services;(c)a credit screening point where the credit assessment of an applicant can be processed; or(d)an office where an account holder may query or verify accounts and metered consumption, and may communicate grievances, inquiries, recommendations and other relevant issues to the municipality and from where the response from the municipality can be conveyed to the account holde;"domestic consumer or domestic user" of municipal services means the person or household to which municipal services are rendered to a residential property;"due date" means the date specified as such on a municipal account for any charges payable and which is the last day allowed for the payment of such charges;"interest" means an amount calculated at a rate determined by the municipality on a municipal account in arrears;"land reform beneficiary", in relation to a property, means a person who—(a)acquired the property through the provision of the Land and Assistance Act, 1993(Act 126 of 1993);(b)acquired the property through the provision of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act 22 of 1994);(c)holds the property subject to the Communal Property Associations Act, 1996 (Act 29 of 1996); or(d)holds or acquires the property in terms of such other land tenure reform legislation as may be enacted;"local community" or "community", in relation to the municipality, means that body of persons comprising the residents of the municipality, the ratepayers of the municipality, any civic, non-governmental, private sector or labour organisations or bodies involved in local affairs within the municipality, and visitors and other people residing outside the municipality who, because of their presence in the municipality, make use of services or facilities provided by the municipality;"major services" means those services contemplated in section 17(5);"market value" in relation to a property means the value of the property as determined in accordance with section 46 of the Property Rates Act, 2004. (Act 6 of 2004);"minor tariffs" means all tariffs, charges, fees, rentals or fines levied or imposed by the municipality in respect of services, other than major services provided, and includes services incidental to the provision of the major services."month" means one of 12 months of a calendar year;"municipal account" means an account rendered on which is billed an amount or amounts payable to the municipality for rates, metered services, other municipal charges, levies, fees, fines, interest, taxes or any other amount or amounts payable arising from any other liability or obligation;"municipal entity" means—(a)a private company referred to in section 86B (1)(a) of the Municipal systems Act. Act 32 of 2000;(b)a service utility; or(c)a multi-jurisdictional service utility;"municipality" means the Municipality of Bergrivier, and includes any political structure, political office bearer, councillor, duly authorised agent thereof or any employee thereof acting in connection with this by-law by virtue of a power vested in the municipality and delegated or sub-delegated to such political structure, political office bearer, municipality or, agent or employee;"municipal manager" is the person appointed by the municipality in terms of Section 82 of the Municipal Structures Act, 1998 and includes any person:(a)acting in such position; and(b)to whom the municipal manager has delegated any power, function or responsibility in as far as it concerns the execution of those powers, functions or duties."municipal property" includes a property owned by a municipal entity;"multiple purposes", in relation to a property, means the use of a property for more than one purpose;"municipal service" means a service that a municipality in terms of its powers and functions provides or may provide to or for the benefit of the local community irrespective of whether—(a)such a service is provided, or to be provided, by the municipality through an internal mechanism contemplated in section 76 of the Municipal Systems Act, 2000 or by engaging an external mechanism contemplated in the said section 76; and(b)fees, charges or tariffs are levied in respect of such a service or not;"municipal tariff" means a tariff for services which the municipality sets for the provision of a service to the local community, such as a tariff set for major services or a minor tariff, and includes a surcharge on such service;"occupier" means any person who occupies any premises or part thereof without regard to the title under which the person occupies, and includes—(a)any person in actual occupation of those premises;(b)any person legally entitled to occupy those premises;(c)in the case of those premises being subdivided and let to lodgers or various tenants, the person receiving the rent payable by such lodgers or tenants whether on the person’s own account or as agent for any person entitled thereto or interested therein;(d)any person having the charge or management of those premises, and includes the agent of any such person when the person is absent from the Republic of South Africa or his or her whereabouts are unknown; and(e)the owner of those premises;"officer" means an employee of the municipality or any other person who is specifically authorised thereto by the municipality to perform any act, function or duty in terms of, or exercise any power under this by-law;"organ of state" means an organ of state as defined in section 239 of the Constitution;"owner" means—(a)a person in whom the legal title to a premises is vested;(b)in a case where the person in whom the legal title is vested is insolvent or dead, or is under any form of legal disability whatsoever, the person in whom the administration of and control of such premises is vested as curator, trustee, executor, administrator, judicial manager, liquidator or other legal representative;(c)in the case where the municipality is unable to determine the identity of the person in whom the legal title is vested, the person who is entitled to the benefit of such premises or a building thereon;(d)in the case of premises for which a lease of 30 years or more has been entered into, the lessee thereof;(e)in relation to—(i)a piece of land delineated on a sectional plan registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act 95 of 1986), and without restricting the above, the developer or the body corporate in respect of the common property; or(ii)a section as defined in such Act, the person in whose name such section is registered under a sectional title deed and includes the lawfully appointed agent of such a person;(f)any legal person including, but not limited to—(i)a company registered in terms of the Companies Act, 1973 (Act 61 of 1973), Trust inter vivos, Trust mortis causa, a Closed Corporation registered in terms of the Closed Corporation’s Act, 1984 (Act 69 of 1984), a voluntary association;(ii)any Department of State;(iii)any council or Board established in terms of any legislation applicable to the Republic of South Africa; and(iv)any Embassy or other foreign entity; and(g)a lessee of municipal property who is deemed to be the owner for the purposes of rendering a municipal account;"owner", in relation to—(a)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)a right referred to in paragraph (b) of the definition of "property", means a person in whose name the right is registered;(c)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; and(d)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", however, the municipality may, for the purposes of the Property Rates Act, 2004 (Act 6 of 2004), regard as the owner of a property—(i)in the case of a property in a trust, but excluding state trust land, a trustee,;(ii)in the case of a property in a deceased estate, an executor or administrator;(iii)in the case of a property in an insolvent estate or in liquidation, a trustee or liquidator;(iv)in the case of a property in the estate of a person under judicial management, a judicial manager;(v)in the case of a property in the estate of a person under curatorship, a curator;(vi)in the case of a property that is subject to a usufruct or other personal servitude, a person in whose name a usufruct or other personal servitude is registered;(vii)in the case of a property that is registered in the name of the municipality and is leased by it, a lessee; and(viii)in the case of a property sold by the municipality and of which possession was given to the buyer pending registration of ownership in the name of such buyer, a buyer;"permitted use", in relation to a property, means the limited purposes for which the property may be used in terms of any restrictions imposed by a condition of title, a provision of the municipality’s town planning or land use scheme, or any legislation applicable to any specific property or properties, or any alleviation of any such restrictions;"person" includes a legal person and an organ of state;"preferred customer" means a person who may be granted special concessions by the municipality;"premises" means any piece of land, the external surface boundaries of which are delineated on—(a)a general plan or diagram registered in terms of Land Survey, Act of 1927 (Act 9 of 1927), or in terms of the Deeds Registry, Act of 1937\(Act 47 of 1937); or(b)a sectional plan registered in terms of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act 93 of 1986), which is situated within the area of jurisdiction of the municipality;(c)and includes any other land and any building or structure above or below the surface of any land;"property" means—(a)immovable property registered in the name of a person, including in the case of a 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 the person, but excluding a mortgage bond registered against the property;(c)a land tenure right registered in the name of a person or granted to a person in terms of legislation, such as a "land reform beneficiary"; and(d)public service infrastructure;"publicly controlled" means owned by or otherwise under the control of an organ of state, including a public entity listed in the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999), a municipality, or a municipal entity;"public service infrastructure" means publicly controlled infrastructure of the following kinds:(a)national, provincial or other public roads on which goods, services or labour move across a municipal boundary;(b)water or sewer pipes, ducts or other conduits, dams, water supply reservoirs, water treatment plants or water pumps forming part of a water or sewer scheme servicing the public;(c)power stations, power sub-stations or power lines forming part of an electricity scheme serving the public;(d)gas or liquid fuel plants or refineries or pipelines for gas or liquid fuel forming part of the scheme for transporting such fuels;(e)railway lines forming part of a national railway system;(f)communication towers, masts, exchanges and lines forming part of a communication system serving the public;(g)runways or aprons at national or provincial airports;(h)breakwaters, seawalls, channels, basins, quay walls, jetties, roads, railway or infrastructure used for the provision of water, lights, power, sewerage or similar services of ports, or navigational aids comprising lighthouses, radio navigational aids, buoys, beacons or any other device or system used to assist the safe and efficient navigation of vessels;(i)any other publicly controlled infrastructure as may be prescribed by as law; and(j)rights of way, easements or servitudes in connection with infrastructure mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (i);"revenue" means all monies due to the municipality and to which the municipality has the right to exact and to enforce payment of, irrespective of the reason for or the origin of its factuality;"sectional title scheme" means a scheme as defined in section 1 of the Sectional Titles Act, 1986 (Act 95 of 1986);"tampering" means any unauthorised interference with the municipality’s supply, seals and metering equipment and "tamper" has a corresponding meaning;"target" means realistic targets which may be set by the municipality ; and"tariffs for major services" means tariffs set for the supply and consumption or usage of major services;"unreliable customer" includes an account holder, who according to his or her payment record fails to settle his or her municipal account by the due date or who is in arrears with payments due to council or who tampers or interferes with metering equipment, seals or the supply of municipal services.
Customer care principles, objectives and implemenatation, and differentitaion
2. Customer care principles, and objectives
3. Municipal manager responsible officerThe municipal manager—(a)is responsible to the Executive Mayor for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this by-law;(b)must, for the purposes of paragraph (a) take the necessary steps to implement and enforce the provisions of this by-law;(c)is accountable to the Executive Mayor for the agreed performance targets as approved by the municipality and the Executive Mayor, and for these purposes must—(i)report to the Executive Mayor on matters relating to this by-law, including but not limited to—(aa)the effectiveness of administrative mechanisms, resources processes and procedures to collect money that is due and payable to the municipality;(bb)billing information, including the number of account holders, accruals, cash-flow, and customer management;(cc)the satisfaction levels of account holders regarding services rendered; and(dd)the effectiveness of the municipality’s indigence relief measures; and(ii)encourage and bear on account holders, where needed, to settle outstanding accounts within the ambit of this by-law; and(iii)with the consent of an account holder, enter into an agreement with the account holder’s employer to deduct from the salary or wages of the account holder—(aa)any outstanding amounts as may be agreed; or(bb)such regular monthly amounts as may be agreed, and may provide special incentives for employers to enter into such agreements, and employees to consent to such agreements.
4. Differentiation between customers and exemption
Supply of municipal services
Part 1 – Application for supply and service agreements, credit screening, deposits, billing and payment, and termination of service agreements
5. Application for supply of municipal services and service agreements
7. Billing and payment
8. Termination of service agreement
Part 2 – Non-payment of municipal accounts
9. Arrangements for payments
10. Interest on overdue municipal accounts
11. Debt collection mechanisms
Part 3 – Metering equipment and metering of services
12. General provisionsThe municipality may introduce various metering equipment and may encourage an account holder to convert to a system which will benefit the municipality and account holders.
13. Metering equipment and measuring of consumption
14. Resale of water or electricity
Part 4 – Indigence relief measures
15. Requirements for indigence relief
16. Credit given
17. Cancellation of registration
Part 1 – General principles, calculation of tariffs for major services
18. General principles
19. Calculation of tariffs for major servicesIn order to calculate the tariffs which must be charged for the supply of the services contemplated in section 18(5), the municipality must identify all the costs of operation of the undertakings concerned, including specifically the following:(a)cost of bulk purchases in the case of water and electricity;(b)distribution costs;(c)distribution losses in the case of electricity and water;(d)depreciation expenses;(e)maintenance of infrastructure and other fixed assets;(f)administration and service costs, including—(i)service charges levied by other departments such as finance, human resources and legal services;(ii)reasonable general overheads, such as the costs associated with the office of the municipal manager;(iii)adequate contributions to the provisions for bad debts and obsolescence of stock; and(iv)all other ordinary operating expenses associated with the service concerned including, in the case of the electricity service, the cost of providing street lighting in the municipal area; and(g)the cost of indigence relief measures.
Part 2 – Structure of tariffs for major services, minor tariffs
20. Structure of tariffs
23. Refuse removal
25. Minor tariffs
26. Availability chargesAvailability charges in respect of water, electricity, sewerage and refuse removal, as determined annually in the budget by the municipality, is payable by all owners of undeveloped property where none of the said services are connected, but can be reasonably connected. If one or more of the services are connected, then the basic charge in respect of all the services that can reasonably be connected shall still apply.
27. Municipality’s powers to restrict or disconnect supply of servicesThe municipality may, over and above the provisions of any other provisions in this by-law restrict or disconnect the supply of water and electricity, or discontinue any other service to any premises if—(a)an administration order is granted in terms of section 74 of the Magistrates Court Act, 1944 (Act 37 of 1944), in respect of an account holder; provided further that such services will only be suspended if the account holder fails to make regular payments in respect of the current services;(b)an account holder of any service fails to comply with a condition of supply imposed by the municipality;(c)an account holder obstructs the efficient supply of electricity, water or any other municipal services to another account holder;(d)an account holder supplies such municipal services to any person who is not entitled thereto or permits such service to continue;(e)an account holder causes a situation which is dangerous or a contravention of relevant legislation; or(f)an account holder is placed under provisional registration, liquidation or judicial management, or commits an act of insolvency in terms of the Insolvency Act, 1936 (Act 24 of 1936).
28. Tampering, unauthorised connections and reconnections, and improper use
29. Clearance certificateTo effect the transfer of any immovable property from one registered owner to another, the Registrar of Deeds requires a clearance certificate, which certificate is obtainable from the municipal manager upon payment of the prescribed fee and subject to the conditions of section 118 of the Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) being met.
30. Tenders and grants-in-aid
31. Power of council to recover costs
32. Prima facie evidenceAcertificate reflecting the amount due and payable to the municipality, signed by the municipal manager, is upon mere production thereof prima facie evidence of the indebtedness of the person mentioned in it.
33. Abandonment of bad debts, and full and final settlement of account
34. Power of entry and inspection
35. Authentication and service of orders, notices and other documents
36. Right of appealA person whose rights are affected by a decision of the municipality may appeal against that decision by giving written notice of the appeal and the reasons therefor in terms of section 62 of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, Act 32 of 2000 to the municipal manager within 21 days of the date of the notification of the decision
37. Offences and penaltiesA person is, on conviction, and subject to penalties prescribed in any other law, liable to a fine or in default of payment, to imprisonment, or to such imprisonment without the option of a fine, or to both such fine and such imprisonment, and in the case of a successive or continuing offence, to a fine for every day such offence continues, or in default of payment thereof, to imprisonment if he or she—(a)fails to give access required by an officer in terms of section 34;(b)obstructs or hinders an officer in the exercise of his or her powers or the performance of functions or duties under this by-law;(c)uses or interferes with the municipality’s equipment for consumption of services supplied;(d)fails or refuses to give the municipality or an officer such information as the municipality or the officer may reasonably require for the purpose of exercising powers or functions under this by-law, or gives the municipality or the officer false or misleading information knowing it to be false or misleading;(e)fails to comply with the terms of a notice served upon him or her in terms of this by-law; or(f)tampers or breaks any seal on a meter or on any equipment belonging to the municipality, or for any reason causes a meter not to register the services used properly, and the person shall furthermore be charged for usage of electricity or water, as the case may be.
38. Repeal of by-lawsAny by-law previously promulgated by the municipality or any of the disestablished municipalities now incorporated into the municipality, in so far as it relates to any matter provided for in this by-law is hereby repealed
39. Conflict with other legislationIn the event of any conflict between any provision of this by-law and National and Provincial legislation, standards, policies or guidelines, the National and Provincial Legislation, standards, policies or guidelines shall prevail.
40. Short title and commencementThis by-law may be cited as the Credit Control, Tariffs and Debt Collection By-law and commences on the date of publication thereof in the Provincial Gazette.
- Entire By-law
- 1. Definitions
- Chapter 1 – Customer care principles, objectives and implemenatation, and differentitaion
Chapter 2 – Supply of municipal services
- Part 1 – Application for supply and service agreements, credit screening, deposits, billing and payment, and termination of service agreements
- Part 2 – Non-payment of municipal accounts
- Part 3 – Metering equipment and metering of services
- Part 4 – Indigence relief measures
Chapter 3 – Tariffs
- Part 1 – General principles, calculation of tariffs for major services
- Part 2 – Structure of tariffs for major services, minor tariffs
- Chapter 4 – Availability charges
Chapter 5 – Enforcement
- 27. Municipality’s powers to restrict or disconnect supply of services
- 28. Tampering, unauthorised connections and reconnections, and improper use
- 29. Clearance certificate
- 30. Tenders and grants-in-aid
- 31. Power of council to recover costs
- 32. Prima facie evidence
- 33. Abandonment of bad debts, and full and final settlement of account
- 34. Power of entry and inspection
- 35. Authentication and service of orders, notices and other documents
- Chapter 6 – General provisions
History of this By-law
9 November 2009 this versionPublished in Western Cape Provincial Gazette no. 6675By-law commences.