City addresses billing queries at Rand Show
Hundreds of Johannesburg residents mixed “business” with pleasure at the Rand Show over the Easter weekend.
Many of those visiting the popular annual show took time off from a variety of leisure activities to engage City of Johannesburg officials on billing and other municipal services-related queries at the municipality’s exhibition stand in Hall 8 of the Johannesburg Exhibition Centre.
The officials represented municipal-owned entities such as City Power, Johannesburg Water, Johannesburg Roads Agency and waste management company Pikitup. The officials have been manning the 72sqm stall since the beginning of the show on Friday April 3 and will continue to do so until Sunday April 12, when the show comes to an end. Each entity has been allocated a booth or counter in the exhibition stand.
The City’s decision to rent a stall at the show was motivated by its desire to increase its accessibility to ratepayers and other customers.
“We are open from 9am to 6pm,” said Ntsako Nyalungu and Kgomotso Mosielele at the City Power counter.
The residents’ queries ranged from broken street lights, faulty meters to not receiving their monthly accounts. Joburg Water, which has the most staff at the exhibition stall and occupies two booths, also operates a mobile call centre.
The centre, which is connected to the main City call centre, enables residents to report leaking water pipes, lodge billing queries and obtain reference numbers and turnaround times, resulting in a quicker settlement of issues.
A Melville resident complained that University of Johannesburg students were "trashing" his suburb by throwing empty beer bottles and other unwanted material everywhere. His concerns were noted and the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department and health inspectors have promised to urgently attend to the problem. Kagiso Mofokeng of Orlando West, Soweto, said it was a pleasant surprise to bump into City officials at the Rand Show.
“I never imagined I would do any official business at the show. This was just a family outing, for the kids to enjoy the rides. Now I’m able to kill two birds with one stone – entertain the kids and talk to officials regarding my query,” the mother of two said.
Moses Ngwenya of Dlamini, also in Soweto, was given a City Power phone number – 086 056 2874 – to report an electrical fault in his township.
“Hopefully the constant power failures will be a thing of the past when City Power officials attend to the matter. We usually lose power between 6pm and 7pm when families try to cook. I suspect we’re overloading the system but I’m hopeful City Power will solve it,” Ngwenya said.
The show is open daily from 9am to 6pm.
Ticket prices range from 50 to R120 and can be bought from Computicket or at the gate. Budget an extra R20 for parking. Mobile ATMs and scores of foodstalls are available to satisfy all dietary tastes.