DA takes billing crisis to NCC

DA takes billing crisis to NCC

2012-10-16 16:13

Pretoria - The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday met the National Consumer Commission (NCC) to discuss the long-running billing crisis in Johannesburg.

National spokesperson Mmusi Maimane said the City of Johannesburg was peddling lies about the resolution of the problem of incorrect bills.

"There are still numerous Johannesburg residents that are receiving incorrect bills. The City's claims of resolving the billing crisis are therefore false," he said.

"We have submitted more than 2700 unresolved billing queries to the NCC, all collected from members of the public who attended our 'billing assistance day' on September 9," said Maimane.

He said the DA believed the city had breached several sections of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).

"By claiming that the billing crisis had been resolved, and that the backlog in unresolved billing queries had been resolved by the end of June the city has breached section 41(1)(a) of the CPA.

"The 2700 unresolved billing queries we recovered in September indicate that the City has blatantly misled its ratepayers.

"It has misrepresented its ability to deliver services, bill those services correctly, and resolve billing problems effectively," said Maimane.

He said the City was also in breach of several other sections of the CPA.

"In light of these violations, we believe the NCC should serve a series of compliance notices with the City of Johannesburg in accordance with Section 100 of the CPA," he said.

"These compliance notices will compel the city to either deliver on its part of the deal and attend to the billing problems of its residents, or face significant financial penalties; and even criminal prosecution by the National Prosecuting Authority," said Maimane.

In the past, the DA said the city had been the worst performing of South Africa's nine metros in terms of the accuracy and reliability of its financial data.

In September, the party tried to hand over thousands of unresolved billing queries to the Gauteng finance mayoral committee, but member Geoffrey Makhubo refused to accept the documents.

His spokeswoman Zoleka Zide said that the city had a contract agreement with its customers, and as such the DA could not resolve queries on its behalf. The city was not going to give preferential treatment to any person or political organisation.

Maimane said numerous "constructive avenues" had been tried in a bid to resolve the problem.

"The ANC continues to pretend as if this problem does not exist. So we will now take this process (with the NCC) to its logical conclusion and compel them to take it seriously through the rule of law," he said.

"The city's administration has breached the CPA at several levels, and will now have to own up to that," said Maimane.

  • ede.klerk.5 - 2012-10-16 16:59

    Thank goodness for this initiative!!! Our bills in Joburg is a complete disaster mainly through incompetence and unprofessional management. Hope something positive comes from this. Otherwise we as taxpayers need to start a class action. It is a disgrace to hear all these lies from the council people.

  • hitting.thefan - 2012-10-16 17:00

    No DA do not do this, you will accused of grand standing. The ANC are more concerned of you using the situation than solving it for the 1000 that are effected by this problem that can not be solved at the ANC ran municipalities. I am thankful each month for being in the Western Cape because I do not deal with those incompetent cadres that was deployed but has no skill.

  • johleneh - 2012-10-16 17:10

    I wish all of us, taxpayers should stand together and take our own "Cities" and ultimately the government to the Constitutional Court for failing to protect and allow for our basic human rights!

      adrian.arendse.5 - 2012-10-16 20:57

      I wish that your wish become a reality and true, because this government proof to be a abortion

  • George - 2012-10-16 17:20

    They should also press criminal charges of extortion and racketeering and colluding with criminals.

  • tawana.malele - 2012-10-16 20:35

    Come on DA, it is only 15,000 accounts out of the 5million accounts that the joburg council process per month so just chilax.

  • ian.d.samson - 2012-10-17 07:45

    WTF DA? What took you so long? I bet a DA Councillor's account is wrong that spurred this reaction! @DA_News

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