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A dedicated task team has been established to deal with residents’ queries about their City accounts. It is just one of several measures the City is taking to deal with the challenges.
AN outgoing hotline has been established by the City of Johannesburg to help residents with queries relating to their utilities accounts.

“The outgoing hotline is staffed by 60 people with specialities in various areas, such as billing and property valuation,” said the spokesperson for the City’s revenue and customer service department, Stan Maphologela.

Approximately 3 500 calls are being made daily by these specialists to Joburg residents. “The team reaches about 60 percent of people, and by Tuesday, 22 February, the hotline [will have made] some 10 000 calls in total,” he said.

“Once the backlog has been dealt with, the call centre number will be made public.” At present, it is also serving as an overflow system for the Joburg Connect call centre, with customers’ queries being forwarded to the task team.

Of Joburg’s 1,1 million account holders, 8 percent have registered inconsistencies with their bills.

Project Phakama, the database and information technology system used to manage revenue and customer services, was pinpointed as one of the reasons for the inconsistencies as there were glitches with the interface between the billing system and the Deeds Office.

The hotline has been set up to expedite the resolution of the inflated bills some citizens have been receiving for several months. By setting it up, the City is hoping to resolve the queries of various residents. Selected customer services centres have also extended their opening hours in a bid to solve the problem.

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