Cape Town was a sea of blue and yellow flags today, with the Stormers celebrating their victory in the United Rugby Championships with their fans.

The team embarked on a open top bus victory tour through the City Centre, starting at the Grand Parade and finishing off at DHL Stadium.

The Stormers have paid tribute to their fans, with Captain Steven Kitshoff thanking fans for all their support:

The City has invited qualifying residents with outstanding debt, to apply for a debt write off, before the end of the month. The outstanding debt must be older than 1 July 2018.

The City has written off more than R2 billion in old debt, but residents must enter into a payment arrangement for their more recent debt.

City bosses says this initiative is paying off, as over 60 400 customers have entered into payment arrangements, boosting the culture of payment in the metro and resulting in the recovery of debt that may otherwise have been forgone.

The Mayoral Committee Member for Finance Siseko Mbandezi says debt management is a carefully managed process and all debt management actions are in place to protect the municipality’s sustainability and stability so that we continue to offer excellent services.

The City has evaluated many cases according to their individual circumstances and the policies the City has in place. Thus far, in the current financial year, the City has assisted residents with no-interest payment arrangements to the value of approximately R1,3 billion.

We want to encourage all residents who find themselves in a difficult financial position to approach us for assistance. The City’s debt management is a carefully managed process and all debt management actions are in place to protect the municipality’s sustainability and stability so that we continue to offer world-class services.

Our debt write-off incentive has been carefully budgeted and planned for and its aim is to write off the old debt of those who qualify, and to encourage the payment of current debts.

This creates more certainty and thus sustainability and ensures that the City is healthy enough to provide services to residents, which is our core mandate. All income from rates and services goes to service delivery. The sustainability requirements are well managed and very carefully considered.

Our debt management is lauded as the best in the country, and is one of the reasons why Cape Town consistently scores the highest in the Ratings Afrika Municipal Financial Sustainability Index. Our high municipal account payment ratio of 98% is testament to the City’s debt management practices. I would like to thank residents for paying their municipal accounts and for making it possible to deliver excellent services.

More about the debt write-off incentive:

  • Customers are required to enter into a debt payment arrangement.
  • Outstanding debt older than 1 July 2018 will then be written off.
  • This incentive is available until 30 June 2022.
  • After this date, in terms of recent amendments to the City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy, historic debt may still be written off, but this will be at the sole discretion of the City Manager, and also contingent on a payment arrangement.
  • Customers are encouraged to visit a Contact Centre to enter into a payment arrangement to benefit from this incentive.
  • A condition of the payment arrangement is that the debt which is written-off will be reinstated if customers default on their instalment plans.

Contacts:

Debt write-off incentive

Visit: https://bit.ly/debtwrittenoff

For rates or services relief

Visit: https://bit.ly/applyrelief or a City customer office.

Email: indigent.relief@capetown.gov.za

Pensioner rates relief:

  • Pensioners 60 years or older and people who receive social grants earning not more than R17 500 may qualify for a rates rebate of between 10% and 100%.
  • They are invited to go to the nearest City customer care office or send an email to rates.rebate@capetown.gov.za. For more information on how to apply for pensioner support: https://bit.ly/applyseniorsupport

Rental housing relief:

  • If you are renting a community residential unit from the City, you may also apply for additional financial support if you are struggling to pay your rent and qualify for rental housing relief.
  • Human Settlements Directorate’s Call Centre: 021 444 0333 or WhatsApp: 063 299 9927

For payment arrangements:

Visit: https://bit.ly/arrangepaymentplan

Email: Payment.arrangements@capetown.gov.za

Businesses in financial hardship due to the economic pressure from the Covid-19 lockdown can approach the City for relief based on the merits of each application.

Email: Covid19.Relief@capetown.gov.za

Miché Solomon, better known as Zephany Nurse, was abducted as a baby 25 years ago. Since the incident at Groote Schuur Hospital, Zepheny grew up as Miché and her biological parents eventually found her by chance when her biological sister noticed the similarities with her dad at school.

Zepheny’s story made international headlines in 2014 and has since published a book about her life and experiences. Now her story has being turned into a documentary that premiers at the Encounters Film Festival this weekend. Bobby and Lindy spoke to Zepheny/Miché about Girl, Taken:

The DHL Stormers will arrive at Grand Parade outside the Cape Town City Hall at 10h30 on Friday, June 24 for the start of their open-top bus trophy parade to celebrate their Vodacom United Rugby Championship title win.

The players and management will arrive at City Hall with the trophy and following speeches from Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde, DHL Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff and Head Coach John Dobson, they will make their way back onto the buses for the parade to begin at 11h00.

The full itinerary and route for the parade has been finalised, with details here below, but note that all times are estimates and dependent on congestion.

Buses departs City Hall along Darling Street (11h00)

• Turns left into Adderley Street (11h03)
• Along Adderley Street and turns into Wale Street (11h10)
• Along Wale Street and turns left into Long Street (11h25)
• Along Long Street and turns right into Buitensingel (11h35)
• Turns right into Loop Street (11h45)
• Along Loop Street and turns left Riebeeck Street (11h55)
• Along Riebeeck Street into Somerset Road (12h15)
• Along Somerset Road towards stadium circle (12h30)

The Vodacom United Rugby Championship trophy will be taken into the various communities in the greater Cape Town area in the coming months, with visits to clubs and schools to follow the bus tour on Friday.

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto has confirmed that it had to cancel nearly 900 operations this year.

The hospital says in many instances, loadshedding or stolen cables, have prompted it to reschedule or entirely cancel operations.

Member of the hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee, professor Mmampapatla Ramokgopa says at times, the hospital has no clean linen due to breakdowns of its laundry machines.

Ramokgopa says the challenges are worsened by a lack of political will to deliver proper medical services to residents.

Watch Ramokgopa’s full interview here.

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