BCC writes off 864 bills 

Source: BCC writes off 864 bills | The Sunday News

BCC writes off 864 bills

Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor

THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has written off bills for over 800 properties in the city after deeming them irrecoverable as the cost of recovering them far outweighs the returns.

The local authority is owed a total of ZiG353 million by ratepayers and it has resolved to write off bills for 864 accounts valued at ZiG28 325 saying they have become irrecoverable.

According to the latest council report the write-off was being done under the Credit Control and Debt Management Policy Section 115.

“All reasonable notifications and cost-effective legal avenues have been exhausted to recover specific outstanding amounts. An amount equal to or less than US$50 or as determined by council from time to time, would be considered too small after having followed basic checks to warrant further endeavours to collect it and the cost to recover the debt did not warrant further action.

“Attached hereto is a list of 864 closed accounts with a total of ZiG28 325. The amounts involved ranged from ZiG0,01 cents to ZiG656. The top amount, ZiG656, is equivalent to US$48. These accounts were considered to be irrecoverable,” reads the report.

The local authority said some of the reasons those properties’ bills had been deemed irrecoverable was that the accounts had been closed and the tenants had left the concerned buildings or properties.

“The cost of tracing the tenants might be far greater than the amount owed. The cost of maintaining, producing and printing these bills which had small amounts was effort expended without returns.

“Basic accounting checks and analysis had been done and the amounts were considered too small to warrant any further collection efforts and the accounts continued to accrue interest whenever it was billed and this was unnecessarily spiralling the debt book. Further, the cost to recover the debts far outweighed the returns,” reads the report.

Some of the major companies that have seen their debts written off, include Lobel’s Biscuits for a debt of ZiG199, Foundation Technical Collage (ZiG129), Montgomery Gardens and Tours (ZiG123), Merspin Limited (ZiG37), MBCA Bank (ZiG35), Highly Favoured International Church (ZiG27), Radiator and Tinning (ZiG25), Amazulu Football Club (ZiG19), National Social Security Authority (ZiG14) and Nanavac Investments (ZiG) to mention but a few.

Meanwhile, the local authority has reported that they recorded a 25 percent increase in debtors from ZiG283 million to ZiG353 million.

“Council achieved a collection efficiency of 50,7 percent, total receipts over total billing. However, the debt grew by 25 percent. The debtors increased from ZiG283 million to ZiG353 million at the end of the month.

“ZiG44 million (62 percent) of the total receipts from billed accounts) was received from domestic ratepayers whilst ZiG27 million (38 percent) of the total receipts from billed accounts was from non-domestic ratepayers,” reads the report.

According to the report, domestic debtors owe ZiG234 million, which represents 66 percent of the total debt, industrial and commercial debtors owe; ZiG91,4 million (26 percent) while Government debtors owe; ZiG27,9 million (nine percent).