Working to resolve issues in its billing system, the City is already making good on the promise of the mayor and is issuing discounts and write-offs.
THE City’s revenue department has begun issuing discounts and write-offs to customers who can settle their outstanding utilities accounts before 30 June. This is in keeping with the promise by Executive Mayor Amos Masondo to give considerable discounts to customers with outstanding queries.
Executive mayor Amos Masondo visits a revenue service centre earlier this year (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)Executive mayor Amos Masondo visits a revenue service centre earlier this year (Photo: Enoch Lehung, City of Johannesburg)To qualify for a discount, however, customers must have lodged queries about their bills and must provide a reference number dating before 31 March 2011. Those who receive discounts are urged to pay in full or make arrangements to settle over 90 days.
Kgamanyane Maphologela, the spokesperson for the City’s revenue and customer relations management department, warns that if a customer defaults on a payment, the write-off debt will be reinstated.
If a settlement is reached between customers and the City, those with billing queries of 90 days to 12 months will receive a 25 percent discount and those with billing queries of 12 months and older will receive a 50 percent discount, he says.
Disputed queries are limited to: consumption queries; queries relating to numerous interim readings; consumers not receiving bills for extended periods of time; and other billing queries, like delays in land transfers, properties not registered, change of ownership, incorrect property valuation, opening new service accounts and linking of services.
Maphologela says settlements are not applicable to customers who have fallen behind with payments or who have neglected to pay their monthly accounts. City customers are urged to update their contact details, including identity number, verifiable physical address, postal address, email address and cellphone or landline number.
Those who have received bills containing errors will definitely qualify for the settlement process, Maphologela says, and those who dispute the amount outstanding on their account will also qualify. “The queries will require a verification process and the discounts will only be given to customers with valid and proven complaints.”
More than 92 percent of residents had not raised queries with the City, and “the amounts that appear on their monthly bills are not in dispute”.
Residents can walk into their nearest service centre to lodge queriesResidents can walk into their nearest service centre to lodge queriesTo lodge a complaint, either visit a City customer service centre or contact Joburg Connect on 011 375 5555. “In all instances a reference number will be provided to customers.”
To follow up on a query for the discount process, certain information is needed:
Existing reference number and originally logged date;
If you do not have a reference number, a detailed explanation of when you first logged the query, what your query is all about and the date it was first logged;
The account number of the disputed account; and
Your contact details.
If a valid query has been lodged through official City channels, the process should be completed before the end of June. “The application will undergo an adjudication process and you will be informed at a later stage of the outcome.”
Queries can be taken to the following customer service centres:
Midrand Civic Centre: 300 – 15th Road, Midrand
Sandton Civic Centre: 24 Freedman Drive, Sandton
Randburg Rates Hall: corner Bram Fischer Drive and Jan Smuts Avenue, Randburg
Roodepoort City Hall: corner Berlandina and Dieperink streets, Roodepoort
Thuso House: 61 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein
Eureka House: corner Marlborough and Rosettenville roads, Springfield
Lenasia Civic Centre: corner Rose Avenue and Eland Street, Lenasia Ext 2
Ennerdale Ext 9: corner Katz Road and 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 working hours at customer service centres to facilitate access for customers. These centres are now also open for business on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 12pm,” Maphologela explains.
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