Where does the Revenue and Debt Management Section fit into the Budget and Treasury Department?
The Budget & Treasury Office is responsible for the financial administration, financial control and financial reporting of the municipality, with the following Directorates:
Revenue, Valuations and Debt Management
Revenue and Debt Management
Supply Chain Management
Logistics and Expenditure
Budget and Financial Reforms
Budget Planning and Implementation
Financial Management and Expenditure
Asset and Liabilities
As can be seen from the above, the Revenue and Debt Management falls within the Revenue, Valuations and Debt Management Directorate, and all services in the Division are rendered in house by the Budget & Treasury Office staff with the exception of the following:
A portion of the meter reading function has been outsourced.
Credit Control and Debt Collection
Key Performance Areas for the Income Section:
Cashier and Customer care
Customer care with regard to municipal accounts
Cashier functions at the Civic Centre
Cashier functions at 6 offices within the community
Cashier functions at the swimming pools and Amcor Caravan Park
Termination/restriction of Services
Billing & Meter Management
Meter management – water and electricity
Billing & Tariff Management
Policy and reporting
Tariffs and monthly statistics
Property rental and sales
The following processes occur within the Division on an on-going basis:
➢ Monthly billing of assessment rates, service levies and consumptions for the entire municipal area and the related processing of approximately 85 000 active accounts;
➢ Processing of Supplementary Valuation Rolls as received from the Valuations Division to update the valuation roll periodically;
➢ Monthly meter readings of water and electricity consumptions together with the related meter and account movement management,
➢ Indigent account holders continue to be subsidized on a monthly basis and the register is being updated on a monthly basis;
➢ Debt Collection includes the tracing of moved customers as well as various legal actions where applicable;
➢ Credit Control actions take place on an ongoing basis, including the electricity termination process and the restriction of water with regard to arrear accounts;
➢ The provision of a Customer Care service at the Civic Centre as well as at the various satellite offices;
➢ The issue of Rates Clearance Certificates in order that transfers of properties can be processed at the Deeds Office;
➢ Capacitating and training of existing staff to effect legislative amendments and requirements together with the education of customers regarding the benefits of paying for services;
➢ The provision of the financial support aspect of the property rental and sales function for government assisted housing, land sales and staff housing.
➢ The continued implementation of the Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme regarding Government Assisted Housing Schemes continues;
➢ Provision of a cashiering function for all receipts of the Municipality at the rates Hall together with the management of 6 satellite offices, 4 municipal swimming pools and the Amcor Caravan Resort;
➢ Provision of a Sundry Debtors function to the various Departments.
➢ The updating of Policies that are relevant to the Division
➢ Reporting to the Council and various government Departments in terms of compliance;
➢ Tariff management and the compilation of the monthly sales statistics.
In terms of the Credit Control, Debt Collection and Customer Care Policy, the monthly household earnings of an indigent application is capped at R 3,000. The onus lies with the applicant to come forward and register for indigent support in line with the Council approved indigent policy. All account holders who qualify for indigent support are encouraged to register accordingly.
Valuations and Assessment Rates
The municipality implemented the new valuation roll compiled in terms of the Property Rates Act, 6 of 2004, on 1 July 2009. All properties under the jurisdiction of the Newcastle Municipality are now included in a single valuation roll.
Debt Collection and Credit Control
The Debt Collection, Credit Control and Customer Care Policy is reviewed annually, as are all the other Budget & Treasury Office policies. Debt escalation has been controlled to a certain extent by the implementation of the Council’s existing Debt Collection, Credit Control and Customer Care Policy. Arrear accounts are only handed over to Councils attorneys when the customer defends the legal actions undertaken by the Division.
The debt collection section encourages the debtors to make payment arrangements where possible, but in other instances applies for emolument attachment orders, writs of execution, etc. The electricity supply in the Municipality’s area of supply is terminated on a monthly basis for non-payment of municipal services, whilst water flow regulators are being installed in the other areas where accounts are in arrears due to non-payment.