Some shopping mall owners have been battling to collect rent from retail stores amid COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown restrictions caused many shops to stop trading.

Center manager at Tambotie Mall in the West of Johannesburg, Lynette Nording, says most shops in Tambotie mall only opened on the 1st of May.

Nording says: “Only three shops were open before May 1st, that is Checkers, Woolworths and Dischem. So it’s a struggle to get rental.”

“However, we understand where they coming from, they didn’t trade in April. It is an upward battle and luckily for us the tenants paid municipal accounts so we at least could have paid our municipal bills before they cut off our power.”

“But it’s an onward battle we trying to survive it’s not easy times,” adds Nording.

Meanwhile the City of Joburg is looking at ways to give some relief to ratepayers including deferring their municipal accounts.

The City has experienced a shortfall in revenue collection as residents struggle to pay their municipal accounts due to the impact of COVID-19.

Joburg Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo says in April, the city had projected to collect R3.5 billion but had a shortfall of R800 million.

Matongo has encouraged those who are able to pay their rates to continue to pay.

“Just in the month of April, we have seen a shortfall in revenue collection. Going forward, we will not be able to collect the projected revenue due to the lockdown and people not being able to go to work. It will have an impact in the long term,”

“We’ll have to cut on the expenditure that is not service delivery. Facing things like the cost of telephones within the city’s offices, things like employing new people, we are cutting down on those to ensure that there is a continuity of service delivery to the residents,” says Matongo.