Joburg billing victims to protest
Johannesburg - Victims of the Johannesburg "billing crisis" will protest outside the City's customer service offices on Friday, the Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG) said.
"The protest was initiated by irate City of Joburg ward councillor, David Dewes, who feels that he has been unable to obtain redress for residents and businesses affected by the Joburg billing crisis through the normal channels," said spokesperson Lee Cahill.
"He will be handing over a memorandum to the city outlining a preferred course of action and will be giving the City a set period of time in which to respond."
This follows the over-billing of many Johannesburg residents for rates and utilities followed by disconnections if the bills are not paid.
JAG is appealing to victims of the billing crisis to take "peaceful direct action" to ensure the billing problems are resolved.
The group has appealed to residents to join in the protest at Thuso House, on the corner of Simmonds and Siemens Streets in Braamfontein, where the City's customer services offices are located.
Language of protest
The protest will begin at 08:30 on Friday.
"On the rare occasions we have been able to engage the ruling party on the billing crisis the response has been that there isn't a crisis because, if there were, people would be protesting.
"This is obviously the only language some City officials understand, so it's important for ordinary citizens to get out there and to say no to bad service delivery and poor governance".
JAG has also asked residents to lodge an official complaint with the City.
"Lodging a dispute is effectively a legal action, and obliges the city to deal with the issue.
"Also, if residents have lodged an official dispute with the city, it is illegal in terms of the national energy regulations for the City to cut off their power supply until the issue has been fairly and justly resolved."