Door-to-door campaign to resolve billing issues
THE CITY of Joburg is going on a door-to-door campaign to educate its customers to pay their accounts on time and to resolve their billing issues.
Spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela said the campaign started last week in the suburbs that fall under Region E, such as Bryanston, Kew, Bramley, Houghton Estate and Sandhurst, to focus on those customers who had not responded to the city asking them to pay their accounts.
“Over and above visiting customers and educating them on the importance of paying their accounts consistently, on time and in full, we would also use the opportunity to do data cleaning to update customers’ details and seek to resolve some of their queries,” Maphologela added.
Council staff will spend two days in Region E interacting with customers, and the campaign might be extended to other regions.
“The city has launched the programme in a bid to be proactive and engage customers on a one-on-one basis to try to understand why they have stopped paying their accounts.
“These are customers who we have written to, to inform them of their outstanding debt.
“We want to move away from simply just cutting off the customers’ water and electricity.”
Maphologela said many customers assume that while they have queries pending or have not received their monthly statements, they should stop paying for the services they have consumed.
According to the city’s credit-control and debt-collection policy, the customer has a responsibility to pay for the services they use even though they might not yet have received their account statement.
Section 8.2 of the policy states: “Although the city must render an account for the amount due by a debtor, failure thereof shall not relieve a debtor of the obligation to pay this amount” owed.
It was still customers’ responsibility to pay for the services they consume every month, Maphologela pointed out.
While the city conducts its door-to-door campaign on defaulting customers, the officials will also be assisting customers who are unable to pay their municipal accounts for financial reasons.
These customers will be assisted to sign an acknowledgement of debt (AOD), and arrange to pay a determined amount they can afford.
“Customers applying for the AOD must admit the debt owed, and then arrange with the city to pay instalments on the outstanding amounts.
“This is to assist customers and ensure that they are able to make a minimum payment in the form of instalments and that they don’t fall into a debt trap.
“Customers will also be assisted to complete a lifestyle assessment to determine affordability with regard to their outstanding debt,” Maphologela added.
He advised that customers can still pay their municipal services accounts using thirdparty payment methods.
Delivering his 2017/18 budget speech last month, the mayoral committee member for finance, Dr Rabelani Dagada, said the city was improving its revenue collection, with a record R3 billion collected during March over a targeted R2.6bn.
This was the first time in many months that this amount had been reached.
Dagada said he was confident that the city would reach a R4bn collection by the end of December.
Customers can make use of the following to make payments:
Customers can also call the city’s call centre on 0860 Joburg (562 874) or 011 375 5555.
To locate alternative customer service centres near them, they can visit the city’s website www.joburg.org.za for more information.
‘IMPROVING’: MMC for finance Dr Rabelani Dagada