Tar­iffs charged by mis­take, says mayor

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

AULETTE GO­LIATH WRITES:

The City of Joburg and City Power have added ad­di­tional charges on cus­tomer ac­counts as from June 2017, which are: Ser­vice charge at R112.02 Net­work charge at R330.00 De­mand side man­age­ment levy at R1.40

This adds up to R443.42 plus 14% VAT R62.08 = R505.50

No prior no­ti­fi­ca­tions were sent to cus­tomers about the ad­di­tional charges, which is grossly un­fair to all.

Also, no one at the call cen­tre could ex­plain the rea­son for these charges.

Surely, we as con­sumers have a right to know in ad­vance what these charges are for and why, as they have never been added to ac­count billing be­fore.

With the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion as it stands, how are we go­ing to make ends meet when the tar­iff in­creases are al­ready crip­pling to con­sumers?

CITY MAYOR HER­MAN MASHASBA REPLIES:

It has come to our at­ten­tion that as of June, al­most 15 000 City Power cus­tomers’ tar­iffs were er­ro­neously charged a monthly ser­vice and net­work charge.

These cus­tomers make up some of our poor­est res­i­dents and it is vi­tal that we pro­tect their in­ter­ests and do not add to their bur­den.

Although a com­mu­ni­ca­tion was sent to cus­tomers via SMS, state­ments and the City Power call cen­tre voice record­ing sys­tem, I wish to clar­ify the rea­son for the ad­di­tional billing.

Prior to the 2015/2016 fi­nan­cial year, City Power had a life­time tar­iff for cus­tomers who had a monthly con­sump­tion of less than 500 kilo­watt-hour (kWh).

The life­line tar­iff dif­fered from the reg­u­lar two opt tar­iff, as it did not have the ser­vice charge and the net­work charge.

Be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of the ex­tended so­cial pack­age (ESP), City Power used the life­time tar­iff to grant qual­i­fy­ing cus­tomers ac­cess to free ba­sic elec­tric­ity (FBE).

How­ever, this man­ner of de­ter­min­ing the qual­i­fi­ca­tion for FBE was not fair, as it did not con­sider the poverty sta­tus and af­ford­abil­ity of the cus­tomer.

With the im­ple­men­ta­tion

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