City of Joburg to use open days to deal with billing problems

08 August 2017 - 17:15 By Penwell Dlamini
Open days will also be used to compile an accurate indigent register‚ introduce mechanisms to improve billing and revenue collection and improve the turnaround time for query resolution.
Open days will also be used to compile an accurate indigent register‚ introduce mechanisms to improve billing and revenue collection and improve the turnaround time for query resolution.
Image: MARIANNE SCHWANKHART

City of Johannesburg MMC of Finance Rabelani Dagada says the council will use open days as one of way to address billing problems and improve the indigent list.

On Saturday‚ Dagada will be at Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia to allow ratepayers to bring their billing issues to city officials. Revenue frontline staff will interact with ratepayers and provide advice on the spot.

These open days will be replicated in all regions of the metro in upcoming months‚ as the city tries to reduce the backlog of incorrect accounts in its billing system. “Billing Open Days are designed to rectify anomalies in municipal accounts and help the City improve its customer database.

“There are countless property owners who should be paying for municipal services but are not doing so. We urge them to come forward so we can remedy their billing issues‚” Dagada said.

He added: “This is also a chance for all stakeholders to take up their concerns with senior management in the City‚ who will ensure each account receives the desired attention.”

The city said that the open days will also be used to compile an accurate indigent register‚ introduce mechanisms to improve billing and revenue collection and improve the turnaround time for query resolution.

“Billing woes began when 16 independent councils amalgamated to form the City of Johannesburg some 17 years ago. When the previous administration upgraded its revenue collection software to streamline operations‚ the process was bungled‚ resulting in glitches in its rollout.

Customers began receiving inflated and inaccurate municipal accounts for rates and services. Resource mismanagement in the revenue department is also to blame for having perpetuated the crisis‚” Dagada explained.

Billing systems remained one of the biggest problems which faced the previous administration as it impacted on revenue and caused countless complaints from ratepayers.

This was so bad that the city erroneously even sent a letter to the house of the late former president‚ Nelson Mandela‚ demanding that he pay for a bill that did not belong to him. The city later apologised for the error.

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