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The City of Joburg will this month embark on road shows to educate residents about its new debt write-off plan. The Municipal Debt Rehabilitation Programme, which will be launched in September, is intended to place defaulting residential ratepayers back in good standing by clearing their debts to the metro.

It’s a localised attempt to manage a broader problem. The Gauteng debtors book is high, at about R62bn, says Tracy Ledger, of the Public Affairs Research Institute at Wits University. In June, Joburg’s consumer debt contributed R24.5bn to that total, with residential debt accounting for about R9.4bn...

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