Distraught owner’s tale of confusion
TOTAL confusion reigns over a distraught Jeppestown property owner, Tu Nokwe, who keeps receiving accounts ranging from R134 000 to R1.9 million.
Nokwe recently received a bill for R1.9m. She queried the bill but got nowhere.
“Ever since I’ve dealt with them on matters needing clarity and solutions, they seem to drag until I’m forced to start afresh or just give up and lose money to avoid stress.
“One time a worker charged me R5 000 as a deposit for the application of a prepaid meter. It took a long time for them to come and install it. When I followed up, I was told the receipt I had was not a legitimate Joburg City receipt.
“I asked to be connected to that worker and she disappeared into thin air. I was told by others that she still works there. So my money drowned. I tried to apply for rates consolidation. I wasn’t winning,” she said.
Nokwe said she is really tired and worries what such stress could be doing to her health. “I have no peace of mind at all about these matters and they have gone on for many years,” she said.
Eventually, after months of fighting, her bill was reduced to R164 000, then to R134 000. Yet last week, she got a letter from attorneys advising her that she owes R1.95m.
When Metrowatch asked for clarification from the City of Joburg’s revenue department, we were told she owes R219 000.
The City of Joburg, in its reply, said: “Our investigation shows that the customer is owing about R219 000; as a result of part-paying and non-payment.”
The city’s spokesperson, Kgamanyane Maphologela, says the records show that the customer has been inconsistent in her payments over the years.
Maphologela warns that continued failure to pay the municipal accounts will result in customers having their services disconnected.
“While the customers may still have a legitimate query which the city is dealing with, they must continue to pay for other services consumed to avoid credit control,” says Maphologela.
He advises that customers who are unable to service their debt owing to financial reasons can approach the city and make payment arrangements.
Maphologela says customers can still pay their accounts using third-party payment methods.
“If you don’t like queues, you may pay using any of the listed methods below.”
With EasyPay, facilitating a quick payment option at many shops that you visit on a regular basis, including Pick n Pay and Shoprite Checkers. Customer Service Centres: Customers can pay their municipal account, in cash, at any of the 50 customer service centres city-wide.
Customers can also go to the city’s website for more information: www.joburg. org.za
Customers enquiring about how much they owe or requiring a copy of their account statement can call Joburg Connect on 0860 Joburg (562 874).
However, he did not explain how the bill decreased from R1.9m to R134 000 and then increased to R219 000.