Knysna Municipality Writes Off R30million in Debt — 6 Comments

  1. I have just spoke to someone else in the municipality and apparently accounts are now sent to a Cape Town firm on a CD for them to print and send??? (no longer to JHB) How can this be efficient? Is the finance department being effectively managed and what were the identified challenges for council to decide that this was an effective solution? In all my years I have never come across such a practice…. I will leave it to others to draw their own conclusions or perhaps shed some light on this. In the mean time I wait in anticipation for the end of the month to see whether I do in fact receive my account and by which means…

    • That does seem strange but i can’t have an opinion until i know what the requirements of the service provider is and if there was an overall capability, locally, to fulfill such. What account is this?

  2. Hi Mike,
    By my email address, you know exactly who I am, but for the purposes of this mail, I prefer to stay private.
    I do not think anyone should even be vaguely surprised by the debt write-off! Something stinks. The smell has been permeating not only from the estuary which is a highly contentious issue but from within the accounts department at the municipality. Every single month I have to chase my accounts so that I can pay and in effect think for them. My problem began in October last year when I took occupation of my new home. How is it possible that communication between the various departments is so lacking that they cannot even capture an address correctly? My question is this: If the bare basics of administration particularly when it comes to the collection of debt cannot be maintained, how much of the written off debt is due to their administrative bungling? How dare they disguise their inefficiencies! They are the ones creating the arrears. You cannot be expected to pay for an account if you do not receive it. With the option of an email service, ie, emailing accounts and sms service, one would assume the snail mail method would not be a hinderence if all three collection methods are employed. The oddest thing of all is that I have been told by someone at the municipality that all snail mail is posted via Johannesburg and therefore is sometimes delayed or (sic) lost in transit. Do we not have an effective postal service in Knysna?? Fill in the dots…. this is one department responsible for debt collection. I would hate to think how efficient they are in spending our money effectively.Having worked in a corporate customer services environment, I know how dependent corporats are on effective inter departmental communication, but here at our local municipality, it would appear that the IT system is not even integrated properly and the one hand is still looking for the other hand which probably got chopped off while they were looking for the on button. Where is the oversight in the finance department and how come everything is about crisis management as opposed to pro-actively addressing what is clearly a recipe for disaster. I remain undecided about the truth in their “sympathetic” approach. While there is no denying that there are those with definite challenges in maintaining their municipal accounts as this is the reality of our economy at the present time, when those that have the means to pay have to waste time and effort chasing accounts on a monthly basis, what does this say about the real picture? And my next step? If I have a similar issue next month, a formal letter of complaint to Ms Waring. A caring town builds relationships rooted in communication that engenders trust. If I cannot trust the municipality with something as obscure these days as issuing a statement, how can I trust them on the bigger issues?

    • Yes! They have yet to give us that breakdown.

      Regards the accounts, frame the question/s and i will definitely send it off to the powers that be.

      I don’t have a similar problem but i certainly know how frustrating the Knysna Municipality can be!

  3. I doubt that a public announcement of debt write-off will do much to maintain payments from those with a history of failure to maintain their obligations, or deter those who now might think it clever to join them (behind the smokescreen of indebtedness). But I’m sure I’d understand Municipality thinking better if they posted a few hypothetical examples of people they are trying to assist in keeping up to speed.

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