Councillor’s Corner: Why treat us with disdain and disrespect?

This week, Ted Vonk from Joburg asked:

Why does the City of Johannesburg treat its ratepayers who are actually funding Council with disrespect and disdain? I have been trying to resolve queries on a number of outstanding accounts for years now. They relate to old matters where properties were sold years ago and the accounts will never be paid. One particularly relating to my father who passed away 25 years ago for a measly R5.21.

The advice ratepayers get is that they must report the issues telephonically or visit the walk-in centre. So then I hang on to unanswered phone lines for ages or spend my time and money to try to assist Council to rectify matters. Not likely. I guess that at least R10 000 has been wasted in postage on these accounts over the years. Surely ratepayers, holding up the show financially, for now, deserve better?

Wendy Alexander, Ward 134 councillor answered:

Relating to your billing/rates issues within the City of Johannesburg. The issue needs to be reported the City so that the issue can be logged on to the City’s Sap system. This will allow the enquiry to go through the process of resolving the issues.

The City of Joburg sends out hundreds of thousands of accounts monthly. If issues are not reported, it is unlikely that the City will be aware of the problem.

The City’s billing enquiry process has been designed to assist ratepayers with logging and monitoring the resolution of their enquiry within the first 30 days of logging the issue.

Should the enquiry not be dealt with satisfactorily, ratepayers have the right to escalate their issue.

How Residents can log the issue onto the City’s Sap system:

  • Phone the call centre on 0860 Joburg or 0860 56 28 74. The call centre is a 24/7 service that logs all customer queries and complaints regarding all City services, or
  • Visit the closest Regional Revenue Centre. The revenue centres have extended their office hours and most centres are open on the last Saturday of the month to assist our residents with enquires.

For the address of your closest revenue centre please visit the City of Joburg’s website. You will receive a reference number, which you should keep a record of.

The City has been experiencing a large billing backlog and in order for us to address this backlog, the City has started arranging Billing Open Days. The first Billing Open Day was held at Marks Park in August. Thousands of residents with unresolved issues turned up on the day. This is just another way the City is trying reduce the backlog.

The City will be planning more billing open days within each of the city’s regions. These events will all take place before the end of the year. Dates will be released as soon as they become available.

Should your issue remains unresolved (after 30 days) contact your local ward councillor with the account number, reference number, the account holder’s name and surname, contact details, the stand number, area and a summary of the issue.

Do you have a question for a ward councillor?

Councillor’s Corner is a platform for you, our readers, to voice your concerns or questions for ward councillors to respond to.

Different, willing ward councillors will respond to a question each week.

E-mail your burning question to: [email protected] and let’s get the ball rolling.

  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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