Joburg has 'learnt lessons' from billing

2011-02-02 15:54
Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg said it learnt "valuable lessons" from the current billing problem and asked for patience.

"Please bear with us. We are all in this important work together," spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said in a statement.

All affected parties, the government, ratepayers and the general public would be engaged "to find a lasting solution".

On Tuesday Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka said the problem, which had resulted in residents receiving inflated bills and others having services cut off, would be investigated.

Shiceka met Gauteng Local Government MEC Humphrey Memezi on Friday to get his understanding of the problems highlighted by the media and residents, who had called and written to the minister's office.

Memezi was given until February 18 to present Shiceka with a full report and a plan to resolve problems with billing systems in Gauteng, particularly those in Johannesburg.

Johannesburg Mayor Amos Masondo, who recently said there was no crisis, made a surprise visit to the city's revenue department and its call centre on Wednesday morning.

"...Disciplinary measures are being taken [against] all employees and management for any wrongdoing and unbecoming behaviour. All of us must be held accountable," the statement read.

Modingoane however added it was "wrong and malicious" for the media to continue claiming Masondo had said there were no problems.

"All we said was the situation is not turning for the worse and provided evidence indicating why this is so."

The problem was attributed to the implementation of the R580m Project Phakama, intended to improve the city's billing system.

There was a need to beef up management controls, improve internal communications, and train staff.

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