Joburg billing victims to protest

2011-02-17 20:07

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."

  • Dave - 2011-02-17 20:17

    So why havent we heard about this until tonight at 8? I keep failry up to date, but have not heard anything

      craiggib - 2011-02-17 20:36

      So right Dave - you need to network and organise prior to the night before especially since the affected people are not the kind to go out trashing the streets of Johannesburg and protesting at a moments notice - I actually don't know how bad things would need to get to get the average middle class South African out on the street in the first place, let alone those who are not directly affected but sympathy protesters :(

  • Bartman - 2011-02-17 20:25

    So the ruling party is saying, to get us to take anything "serias" the people must first make a protest. EISH!!!! Are they for real?

      Dave - 2011-02-17 20:36

      Yeah, it would appear that a few burning tyres in front of their offices is the only way they will react. We may disagree and not like the protests in Ermelo, but it seems this is the only way to get notice

  • lldoidge - 2011-02-17 21:21

    Why don't all those aggrieved get together and file a class action suit against those incompetent idiots!!!!!

  • pamelawatt.thomson - 2011-02-17 23:36

    I haven't received an acoount for about 3 or maybe 4 months... Am I in for a shock too one of these days! I've been paying my regular amount each month but really would appreciate seeing an account to confirm receipt.

      May - 2011-02-18 06:14

      Pamela, You need to phone them at 6am in the morning on 011-375-5555 because I now see from your message that I am not the only one who was not receiving bills and I skipped a month since Sep and had to pay in R4K. The ladies are prompt in emailing them but dont ask me whether I will get one this month because according to their system its been sent out.

      vtrehaeven - 2011-02-18 07:55

      Hi Pamela, I had the same problem. However, if you log into and register on CoJ's e-services (google the link)you can access your statements online. If it transpires you have an overbilling problem, then you can prepare yourself to fight the good fight.

      tuttysales - 2011-02-18 12:29

      Thanks Vtrehaeven! overseas and did not know how to get statements. Tried the link and it worked!

  • zulufox - 2011-02-18 09:01


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