Tariffs charged by mistake, says mayor
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