Challenge for municipality

Suva City Council (SCC) chairman Isikeli Tikoduadua. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

The Suva City Council is expecting a challenge in getting their ratepayers to pay their dues by August as they have amended their financial year to align with the government.

According to Suva-Lami special administrators chairman Isikeli Tikoduadua, they were providing assistance to those ratepayers who were struggling to pay their dues because of the pandemic.

“That’s a challenge because a lot of businesses has been impacted during the surge in the virus,” he said.

“What we have done is that we are going on a case by case basis, for those who are facing financial hardship.

“We have repayment programs that allow them to do monthly or even weekly payments and we have a grace period, there will be no penalty if they are late in their payment.”

However Mr Tikoduadua said they still needed people to pay their rates.

“Without your rates we will not be able to do the service that we are doing now.

“So support what we do because it’s an essential service that we provide and we have seen that a lot of ratepayers realise the importance of the council providing the essential services.

“As you probably know during the lockdown, we were able to continue providing this,” he said.

The SCC hopes that the pandemic would reach a controllable stage to allow businesses to operate again.

“It would be a bit different but we hope that it would allow them to operate and also have funds or money to meet the rates before the financial year.

“We have been working together with the Suva Retailers Association very closely as well as the police.

“The businesses now just have to meet the protocols set up by MCTTT because they are now allowing services to open again providing they meet those protocols they should be able to operate again.”

Mr Tikoduadua said there were support services which needed to operate, such as a spare parts company however they needed to follow protocols in order to do so.

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