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​City takes service to residents

City of Johannesburg officials were kept on their toes on Saturday 28 February as hundreds of residents in Region C descended on the Roodepoort Civic Centre to have their billing enquiries attended to on the first Revenue Open Day of the year.

More than 500 ratepayers, many of whom cannot present their billing queries at the City’s various walk-in centres on weekdays because of work commitments, came from all corners of the region.

The City has been hosting Revenue Open Days in all its regions since 2011 to demonstrate its commitment to excellent customer service.

According to Shaun Govender, Assistant Director of the Revenue Shared Services Centre in Region C, the response of the customers was overwhelming and most queries were resolved on the spot, to the satisfaction of the residents. Govender said the 80 staff members attending to the queries showed dedication and commitment.

There were also specialists in every field on standby to ensure customers left the centre satisfied that their accounts had been addressed and all their concerns satisfactorily dealt with. The specialists were from entities and departments such as Valuation and Inland Information Systems, Disconnections and Reconnections, Pikitup, Finance and Cash Management, Pensioner Rebates, Billing and Refund, and Property Rates.

“Revenue Open Days help improve relations between the City and its customers. They also provide us as the City with the opportunity to achieve enhanced data accuracy, which is collected directly from the customer or resident and rectified immediately on the system. They also enable us to update traceable customer information, which means enhanced communication efficiency in the future,” Govender said.

Chris de Wet, 64, of Roodekraans, described the service he received as “perfect”.

De Wet said it could not be any better after his query – he had been overcharged on his electricity consumption and denied a pensioners’ rebate – was speedily resolved.

“I was directed to the right place and given prompt service. They should have these kinds of days more often,” he said.

HJ Niemann, of Witpoortjie, said he was promised that his query regarding a R40 000 electricity bill would be promptly reversed. Niemann said his problems started in May 2013 when the City started estimating his electricity consumption. He said he was shocked when his bill escalated to R33 900. He queried it but to no avail.

He said after it went up to R40 000 he made numerous visits to the customer service centre but did not get any joy. Instead, he said, the City switched off his power in September and he had to pay for it to be reconnected.

Johan Lewis of Witpoortjie, 68, said he was optimistic he would finally enjoy a pensioners’ rebate after he was given a reference number and a form to fill in. But one resident who did not want to reveal her name, was hopping mad when the officials could not immediately help her regarding her R41 000 bill for electricity consumption. She said she did not understand why she was charged for electricity consumption as she was on a prepaid system.