Revisiting my R89 000 water bill. The system works. Hope springs. | Fin24
 
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Revisiting my R89 000 water bill. The system works. Hope springs.

May 11 2016 16:21
Alec Hogg

Two months ago I shared news of my palpitation-inducing water bill of R89 000. The Biznews community responded generously, offers including some from lawyers and an entire sub-sector who specialise in fighting claims against municipalities.

Among the first responses to hit my inbox was one from Advocate S’Du Gumede, the City of Johannesburg’s Ombudsman. He asked for more details and offered to investigate. Working through him was the rational approach, one which also allowed me to test the process.

As it happens, this was also the right call. After an initial flurry, the matter seemed to get bogged down in the city’s bureaucracy. To his credit, Adv Gumede kept pressing the right buttons, copying me in his regular emails requesting updates.

The issue was finally sorted out this week. An internal investigation tracked a leak erroneously put through my new meter. The bulk of the R89 000 was credited. My account is off the problem list and the ticker back to a steady beat. The Ombud system works. Hope springs.

From Biznews community member Tammy Samandan

"Any ideas on how to get Dept. of Home Affairs to issue me with my unabridged birth certificate, which I applied for in November 2015?

I phone them every week and each week I get a spin story and a new case number and each week it is “escalated” but nothing happens.

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biznews  |  johannesburg  |  water  |  municipalities
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