Spike in Covid-19 infections forces City of Cape Town’s rent payments online
Cape Town – As Covid-19 infections continue to rise, the City of Cape Town has urged customers to switch to online rent payments in a bid to prevent the further spread of infections.
Following the latest report from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) highlighting higher Covid-19 incidence risks in the province than those reported during the first wave peak, the City has joined a number of public and private entities, including banks, that have imposed stricter measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections.
On Friday, the NICD weekly epidemiology briefing reported that over the past week the Western Cape had reported the highest proportion of new cases, 17.7% behind KZN with 26.1% and Gauteng with 29.3%.
As these numbers were released, the City told customers to pay their monthly rents online instead of visiting the City’s housing offices.
Booi said: “If you are using EFT, just select the City as a bank-listed beneficiary and then use only your nine-digit municipal account number as reference. You can also use payment options offered at Shoprite, Checkers, USave, Pick n Pay, PEP, Ackermans, Lewis, Top It Up, Woolworths and selected Spar shops.
“Only visit when absolutely necessary, so that we curb the spread of Covid-19, especially during the resurgence and the rapidly climbing infection rate. Please phone your housing office to find out if your service request can be dealt with telephonically,” said Booi.
Meanwhile, the national government has told all banks, or financial services that have ATM services, to ensure that there are hand sanitisers available and that social distancing protocols are adhered to.
The chief executive of FNB Points of Presence, Lee-Anne van Zyl, said: “Our branch ATMs are fully compliant with the updated regulations and have put key control measures in place. The measures include regularly sanitising devices situated at our branches, as they are very high-volume transactional devices.
“ATMs that are based off-site, such as shopping centres, stand-alone ATMs etc, are serviced and sanitised once or twice a week with a solution that lasts for seven days.”
At the same time, cybercrime experts have urged vigilance when making online transactions.
The chief executive of financial technology company Payflex, Paul Behrmann, said: “South Africa has the third-highest number of cybercrime victims worldwide, losing approximately R2.2 billion a year to cyberattacks, and understanding and adopting simple online security habits is key to becoming more resilient against cyberthreats.
“The growth of digital payments has seen the emergence and adoption of several alternative payment methods that purport to offer customers convenience, speed and safety. But, it can be challenging for consumers to cut through the noise and ascertain whether their data is actually protected when transacting online.”