File picture: Karen Sandison

Johannesburg - At last, some relief for frustrated Joburg property owners who are unhappy about the service they get from the City of Joburg, particularly at the walk-in customer service centres.

They can now talk directly with their area managers.

The city’s spokesperson, Kgamanyane Maphologela, said the city was serious about improving customer service as this was part of the city’s 10-point plan of running a responsive and pro-poor government.

“We want our customers to know that they don’t necessarily have to drive all the way to the main customer service centre in Braamfontein when they have queries, but can do so in the area they live in. They can now escalate their queries to the area managers,” said Maphologela.

The city was pushing to ensure that customer service improved significantly, he said.

Part of the broader plan to improve customer service is the city’s billing regionalisation project, which will be launched on February 1.

The focus is customer-centred, allowing customers to choose their own dates to settle their accounts between the 15th and 28th of every month.

This will improve billing accuracy and ensure that services move closer to where customers live.

Maphologela said that as part of the strengthening regional offices, the area managers would be available across the city’s seven regions, from Soweto to Midrand, where they would deal with customers who have long, outstanding queries and are not happy.

“Customers with queries that have a lifespan of more than 30 days can escalate their query by requesting to speak directly to the area manager responsible for their area,” said Maphologela.

Customers should always follow the city’s escalation process to have their queries resolved quickly, which includes, among others, keeping the reference number after logging a query. The regional offices will have the photos, cellphone numbers and email addresses on display of the responsible area managers.

The escalation process from when the customer first logs a query is as follows:

Log your municipal-related query via the call centre on 0860 562 874 and get a reference number.

Queries should be resolved within 30 days - if you have not received any resolution or response, follow the next step in the escalation process.

Escalate your query to the regional manager if your query is still not resolved after 30 days.

If there is still no response after the query has been escalated to the regional manager, speak to the deputy director.

Failing this, contact the office of the city's ombudsman.

Who to contact for assistance

Regional Managers

Region A (Midrand): Benson Moss Mosweu, [email protected]; 011 203 3331; 073 117 2356.

Region B (Randburg, Northcliff, Rosebank): Thulisile Nongogo, [email protected]; 011 787 7483; 084 324 5689.

Region C (Roodepoort): Shaun Govender, [email protected]; 082 332 3808; 011 761 0314.

Region D (Soweto): Thomas Tshilongo, [email protected]; 011 932 0824; 084 763 1005.

Region E (Sandton): Bongiwe Jolipepa, [email protected]; 011 628 4174; 082 493 7183.

Region F, (Inner-City): Glendah Skosana, [email protected]; 011 628 4174; 082 493 7183.

Region G (Lenasia, Ennerdale): Phumzile Mokone, [email protected]; 011 852 6292; 082 301 0529.

Regional Deputy Directors

Region deputy director for region A, B, C, E, F: Arthur Mbobo, [email protected]; 011 628 4084 072 939 4786.

Regional deputy director for region D and G: Elias Setelele, [email protected];011 628-4482; 071 499 2490.

[email protected]

The Star