Half a million accounts implicated in major billing failure

Thousands of incorrect bills will be issued this month after a major error within the City of Johannesburg’s customer service delivery system.

The error has resulted in 97 000 inaccurate statements being issued and 412 000 statements for April not being issued at all. This amounts to more than 500 000 bills being impacted by the error.

The City’s Executive Mayor, Herman Mashaba, called this a serious failure in its customer statement delivery system that has never produced an error of this magnitude before. He suspects the system was tampered with. “I have issued an instruction within the City to engage with law enforcement agencies and the cyber-crime unit so as to investigate the cause of the failure,” he said.

READ Billing regionalisation starts

Over 80 per cent of the City’s income is generated through rates and taxes paid by residents. The implications of a delay in collecting revenue from this many accounts, Mashaba said, could have a serious impact on the City’s cash flow.

“We are currently working to ensure that all accounts are issued during the course of this week, and that accounts which were issued incorrectly are rectified.

“This will result in certain households receiving two statements this month. We apologise for any confusion caused. Double billing is a historical issue in our City and we have plans in place to ensure that it is a thing of the past,” Mashaba said.

READ City’s billing crisis to be stabilised by March 2018

Despite the confusion, residents can make payments based on the historical average billing of their accounts.

Customers may also call Joburg Connect on 0860 562 874 to enquire how much they owe. Where a customer requires a copy of their account, they may visit their nearest Customer Service Centre or call the City’s Call Centre.

 READ City ‘dealing with’ billing issues 

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Chantelle Fourie

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