Joburg vows to sort out billing woes in 30 days
The City of Joburg has undertaken to resolve all outstanding billing queries within 30 days in a host of suburbs across the city. The area identified by the council as Region B includes about 200 suburbs, mainly in the north.
This appears to be an attempt by the council to salvage its Revenue Road Map, after it failed hopelessly in terms of promises and deadlines.
The 19-month plan, announced in November 2010, stated that by June last year, all queries would be resolved within 30 days, and within seven days by December.
The Star is still inundated by angry and frustrated residents with old queries, some dating back six years, that have not been resolved.
Last year, after the failure of the 30-day resolution promise was highlighted, many residents claimed their queries were suddenly being marked as resolved when they were not. They accused the council of doing that to increase the number of resolutions.
At the time, Joburg's member of the mayoral committee for finance, Geoffrey Makhubo, said these were "spurious allegations" and "must be rejected with the contempt they deserve".
"We are committed to customer centricity, so we can't grandstand on the basis of showing statistics that we are resolving queries, while we have not dealt with the underlying problem," he said.
A statement issued at the weekend by City of Joburg revenue department spokesman Stan Maphologela claimed: "The city would like to take this opportunity to show our customers that we are committed to being more customer focused in our attempt to attend to your revenue queries."
He said the city's Revenue Shared Services Centre would be running a 30-day campaign in Region B in an attempt to clear revenue queries that relate to properties in that area.
The group head of the centre, Lungelwa Sonqishe, will be stationed at Region B for the next 30 days to oversee the operations and "ensure that the city's promise for better customer centricity is adhered to", he said.
Customers who have properties in the Region B area and have revenue-related queries are invited to visit the Randburg Customer Service Centre on the corner of Bram Fischer Road and Jan Smuts Avenue. The office will deal only with old complaints from Region B.
People from other areas or those with new problems will have to go to the normal customer service centres.