Ethekwini ends contract with EasyPay
Durban - AN observant “techno dinosaur” noticed a discrepancy in her eThekwini Municipality statements only to learn that the contract between the municipality and EasyPay had ended at the end of September.
The 80-year-old resident, who asked not to be named, said her bank removed one eThekwini Municipality beneficiary from her profile. The bank explained to her that its contract with the municipality/PayPal had ended.
“I went into my beneficiary list to check a payment that I made the week before and couldn’t find the beneficiary. Because I’m a techno dinosaur, I thought I was going nuts and phoned my bank.”
She had five other municipal accounts, but they had not been removed. She said there was no warning that she was aware of.
“Several months before this, I noticed that the barcode on my statements was no longer there, so I couldn’t pay at Woolworths any longer. I made copies of old accounts and continued to pay at Woolworths.”
She said clearly something had been happening for a lot longer than people realised.
Net1 SA managing director Nanda Pillay said EasyPay had been contracted to the municipality for the collection of post-paid bills since 1997 and it was subsequently awarded the contract for a period of three years at a time following a tender process.
The tender for 2019 was awarded to a third party [email protected] As [email protected] was unable to deliver the service, the municipality requested an extension of the contract with EasyPay for one year, to enable [email protected] to complete the integration.
“eThekwini Municipality notified EasyPay that the contract for the 12-month period would terminate on September 30, 2020,” said Pillay.
“Following the termination, EasyPay requested that the municipality consider allowing EasyPay to continue trading due to the new provider not having access to the required retail footprint which EasyPay has, but this was declined. Pay points such as Investec, Woolworths, BP Corporate, Masterpass, Lewis and Vodacom, to name a few, are excluded from providing a service to the municipality.”
Pillay said EasyPay collected approximately R155 million a month for the municipality via a number of exclusive channels.
Municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela confirmed the end of the EasyPay contract, but said it should not affect customers as there was a contract in place to continue collecting payments from the third parties.
“Customers who are paying through the electronic funds transfer (EFT) are only required to select eThekwini from their banking profile as the city is a preloaded beneficiary. This has no bearing on the previous contract with the third party,” said Mayisela.
He also reminded customers that the city had many payment methods which can be utilised such as EFT, Direct Debit, MasterPass payment, South African Post Office and many outlets such as Pick ’* Pay, Pep stores, Spar, Russells, Makro, Game, Builders Warehouse and Ackermans.
The Daily News is also in possession of some of the correspondence between EasyPay and the municipality regarding the service.