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2011-03-30: City's discount scheme

WHAT was the announcement made by the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg with regards to billing disputes?

Mayor Amos Masondo on Wednesday 9 March 2011 announced that decisions were taken to provide favourable settlement arrangements to customers with long outstanding queries on their bills. The City offers substantial discounts on outstanding accounts in exchange for settlement.

Who will qualify for these settlements?

Criteria to qualify for the settlement arrangements are:
o There must be a logged billing query;
o There must be a query and a reference number before 31 March 2011. Reference numbers must be provided;
o Query must have aged (not have been resolved) for more than 90 days;
o The query must be resolved before write off can occur;
o The consumer must pay in full or make an arrangement to pay all amounts outstanding over 90 days by 30 June 2011;
o The consumer must update contact details (identify number, verifiable physical address, postal address, email address and cell phone or land line number).

Which customers will not be eligible for settlement?

The settlement process is not applicable to customers who have simply fallen behind with payments or neglect to pay their monthly accounts.

What discounts can customers expect?

If a settlement is reached between the customer and the City, customers
will receive the following discounts:

• Clients with billing queries aged between 90 days and 12 months will receive a 25% discount;
• Clients with billing queries aged 12 months and older will receive a 50% discount.

Which type of queries will qualify for the discount?

Disputed queries are limited to:
• Consumption queries;
• Queries relating to numerous interim readings;
• Consumers not receiving bills for extended periods of time;
• Other billing queries (ie: Delay in land transfers, properties not registered, change of ownership, incorrect property valuation, open up of new service accounts and/or linking of services, etc).

It should be noted:
• Customers who have received bills containing errors made by the City will definitely qualify for the settlement process.
• Customers who dispute the amount outstanding on their billing account will also qualify.
• In both instances queries must have been lodged with the City.
• It should be noted that the queries will require a verification process and the discounts will only be given to customers with valid and proven complaints.

The overwhelming number of residents of Johannesburg – more than 92% -- have not raised queries with the City – and the amounts that appear on their monthly bills are not in dispute.

How do I lodge a query with the City?

• Customers can visit the City's customer service centres to lodge a query.
• They can also phone the call-centre on 011 375 5555;
• In all instances a reference number will be provided to customers.

The following customer service centres will be open to handle queries:

• Midrand Civic Centre - 300 - 15th Road, Midrand.
• Sandton Civic Centre – 24 Fredman Drive, Sandton.
• Randburg Rates Hall – C/o Braam Fischer Drive & Jan Smuts Avenue, Ferndale.
• Roodepoort City Hall – C/o Berlandina and Dieperink Streets, Roodepoort.
• Thuso House - 61 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein.
• Eureka House – C/o Marlborough Street & Rosettenville Road, Wemmerpan.
• Lenasia Civic Centre – C/o Rose Avenue & Eland Street, Lenasia Ext 2.
• Ennerdale Ext 9 – C/o Katz Road & Smit Street, Ennerdale.
• Eldorado Customer Service Centre – 4046 Link Crescent Avenue, Ext 5, Eldorado Park
• Jabulani Civic Centre, 1 Koma Road, Jabulani

The City has extended the working hours at Customer Service Centres to facilitate access for customers. These centres are now also open for business on Saturdays and Sundays from 08h00 to 12h00.

What information do I need to provide to have the issue resolved?

The following information is required together with your application:

1) Existing reference number originally logged;
2) If you do not have a reference number, a detailed explanation of when you 1st logged the query, what your query is all about and the date it was 1st logged;
3) Account number in dispute;
4) Contact details (cell phone or land line, identity number, email address, fax number, postal address).

How long will this process take?

If a valid query has been lodged through official City channels the process should be completed before the end of June 2011.

Will I know immediately when contacting the City whether or not I qualify for the discount?

No, the application will undergo a adjudication process and you will be informed at a later stage of the outcome.


Issued by:
Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela
Customer Communications
Revenue & Customer Relations Management Department
Phone: 011 628 4728
Fax: 011 358 3639
Cell: 083 589 3746