Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
MORE broken promises – and more frustration, anger and heartache for Joburg residents.
The City of Joburg’s much-vaunted revenue road map, intended to resolve the billing crisis which has brought despair and financial burden to residents, appears to be going nowhere.
And now the city appears to be ducking questions as to exactly what progress has been made.
It failed to respond to questions from The Star as to how many queries have been resolved by the June 30 deadline after it promised that 66 000, logged before November 1 last year, would be sorted.
Both city manager Trevor Fowler and a member of the management committee responsible for finance, Geoff Makhubu, in a bold announcement to Joburg residents in November last year, promised that the billing chaos would be sorted out in steps over 19 months.
Deadlines were set and have been missed – but the city will not admit to them, saying only, in a statement released 11 days after the deadline that there has been a “dramatic” reduction in the backlog.
In November, the city promised that by February 29:
l The accuracy of billing will be improved.
l Residents would experience a faster resolution of queries, including clearances and change of ownership queries.
l Customer relations will be improved and city officials held accountable.
l The backlog in property valuations and customer queries would be cleared.
By June 30:
l Customer data would be accurate.
l The city’s capacity to recover debt would be boosted by improving credit management and being more responsive to customers.
l Credit management to be more customer responsive, which will improve the city’s capacity to recover debt.
Fowler said in November that the revenue road map, with stepped changes, would result in officials being held accountable if deadlines were not met. He said he was confident that milestones would be met.
He also said the city wanted to increase its ability to have face-to-face meetings with people who get a document they don’t understand.
This too, has not happened.
Joburg residents continue to complain about unhelpful staff at call centres and not being able to get through on call centre numbers, even the new one recently set up, 0860 JOBURG.
The Star continues to be inundated not only with old queries which have not been resolved.
Added to that, the city has embarked on a campaign to cut off electricity to residents where they cannot access the property to do meter readings.
Residents, who are up-to-date with payments, have complained that they have not received notification of the cut offs.
See Page 5