There has been a dramatic improvement in resolving billing queries in good time. So claims the City of Joburg, while refusing to say how many problems were solved.

The Star has been asking for more than a week for the council to disclose whether the 66 000 queries logged before November 1 last year have been finalised, as was undertaken in the Revenue Roadmap strategy in November last year.

On Thursday, city chief operations officer Gerald Dumas

said: “The city acknowledges that there are still areas where challenges remain and it is committed to addressing them.”

Dumas said the primary objectives during the past few months were to reduce the backlog of queries. “At the end of June 2012, the current outstanding customer queries are those less than 30 days.”

The Star, however, continues to be inundated with people with outstanding queries and complaints of not being able to get through to either the call centre or to the new 0860 Joburg number.

Also, the recent revaluation of about 83 000 properties resulted in huge arrears bills being sent to some homeowners.

Further complaints are from residents not in arrears being cut off without notice because meter readers do not have access to properties.

Dumas said the backlog-clearing team had been sent to call centres and customer service centres to help resolve matters quickly.

The city has started holding customer open days. It has also launched a new citywide number – 0860 Joburg (or 0860 562874), operating alongside the call centre number 011 375 5555.

The Star