PMB Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Pic: Faceobook
PMB Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Pic: Faceobook

Msunduzi to name and rename streets in effort to collect rates

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Dec 11, 2020

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The Msunduzi municipality has announced a plan to name and rename the city’s streets and township roads to help it collect millions of rands owed by ratepayers who cannot be located on current city maps.

The city said ratepayers whose bills apparently didn’t reach them owed about R900 million for services. It is understood that township streets were not given formal names, making it difficult to send bills to ratepayers.

It will cost the city about R2 million to carry out the programme. Members of the public have until early next year to make submissions on the renaming plan.

The project was unveiled at City Hall by council chief whip Vusi Ntshangase, who is also the chair of the Public Place and Street Naming Committee (PPSN).

The project is tasked with the naming and renaming of streets and public places and the formalisation of township names in the Msunduzi Municipality.

In a statement, the municipality said: “Geographical names have been identified as important for re-affirming traditional culture, national identity as well as for reference purposes and people’s ordinary orientation and communication. As a result, Msunduzi has decided to name and rename streets, public places and formalise townships.”

Siwelile Zimu, the senior manager for political support in the municipality said the renaming was part of the city’s revenue enhancement strategy.

“We have about R900 million that is out there that we are trying to collect from consumers. Many people are not paying, legitimately so because they are not receiving their municipal bills.

“We have a lot of return mail. We send the bills out and the post office returns it, saying they cannot find some of these addresses. Partly, that is the reason the municipality is facing a service delivery challenge.

“Let us give people addresses, so that we are able to bill them correctly and we know who used what service. Let me emphasise the project is not just on renaming streets. The end product is for the person to have a physical address.

“This will enable the council to bill residents. During our meeting with residents they also complained that they could not access some of the e-hailing services like Mr Delivery because they do not have addresses,” he said.

Ntshangase said it would be up to residents to decide which existing street names they wanted to change.

Gugu Memela, Electoral Commission of South Africa’s communication coordinator, said the street name project would help them comply with the law, which stated that registered voters must have physical addresses.

She said there were about 320 000 registered voters in Msunduzi and about 20% of them did not have proper addresses.

The Mercury

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