Residents protest over billing crisis

2011-02-18 12:32

Johannesburg - Johannesburg residents protested outside the city's customer service centre in Braamfontein on Friday to protest against the billing crisis.

Protesters, led by Democratic Alliance councillor David Dewes, handed over a memorandum of demands to a representative for the city's finance department.

"Political parties are not going to fix the problem. The people of this country will," shouted Dewes in a voice that could be heard a block away.

"We are tired of politicians pillaging our money."

He was referring to the over-billing of many Johannesburg residents for rates and utilities followed by disconnection if the bills are not paid.

The small group of angry Johannesburg residents, unhindered by the rain, danced and sang: "Our brothers are abusing us, come to Soweto."

Head of the city's financial department, Viki Shupeng, said the city had set up a hotline where residents could register complaints and that the billing crisis would be resolved "soon".

Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and pictures

  • rdc - 2011-02-18 12:54

    I thought that, according to the City of Joburg, that there was no problem?

      advurt - 2011-02-18 13:13

      Crisis? What crisis?

      jevoixtout - 2011-02-18 14:39

      The crisis is for city's finance department as their incompetance and corruption has been exposed. Time now for damage control by setting up "hot lines" to fool the public that the problem will be resolved.

  • nobodyneedstoknowme - 2011-02-18 12:55

    It should be resolved yesterday.... Disconnections of utilities due to government incompetence. Heads need to roll. The mayor should have his electricity disconneted until the problem is resolved after saying there was no crisis.... Tell that to the paying people who have been without electricity for the last week.

      Cynical Sci - 2011-02-18 14:01

      He'd use his being disconnected from his electricity as an excuse for not being able to sort it out...faster.

  • martiens1 - 2011-02-18 12:56


      masterjane007 - 2011-02-18 14:11

      I never voted for the ANC.

  • Melly30 - 2011-02-18 13:03

    Shocking, really disgusts me what the ANC does! Pocket OUR money for yourselves!!!

      mshayafe - 2011-02-18 13:10

      why everything is politicizes, somehow i believe Blade was correct

      Jan - 2011-02-18 13:39

      @mshayafe shame.......

      woutieboutie - 2011-02-18 13:52

      @mahayafe - if I look at your sentence structure and spellin, maybe you should go back to school!!! "why everything is politicizes" - idiot!! We will see what you do if your electricity bill is R100 000, billed by your brotha's and sista's and the council cuts your electricity....o yes, then it will be apartheid again!

  • Baas-Julius - 2011-02-18 13:16

    Damn I would have also liked to protest there. Can't we arrange a protest for all tax payers?

  • Gemstone - 2011-02-18 13:23

    I wish I knew about this earlier, then I would also have been there, even if I have to take leave from work.

  • linsam - 2011-02-18 13:25

    Could someone please give me the details of the hotline (linsam at yebo co za) as I have been waiting 18 months to get a rates clearance certificate for one property - and over 2 and a half years to get a rates account for another property. Depsite being in almost daily contact with council employees - they are unwilling or unable to resove these problems.

      byroneblum - 2011-02-18 13:39

      please supply me the hotline number if u receive it thanx Wayne

      Badger - 2011-02-18 13:48

      Do you R.E.A.L.L.Y. think this "hotline" will even be answered, never mind sorting out the billing problems ?????

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-02-18 13:50

      @linsam...I fear that only hotline 'number' there is the direct hotline to God that the ANC claim to have.....

  • gwildone - 2011-02-18 13:26

    I suppose two years could be regarded as 'soon'.

  • Steve - 2011-02-18 13:35

    Time to stop whining and vote the ANC out!

      masterjane007 - 2011-02-18 18:18

      I never voted them in.

  • Thor - 2011-02-18 13:42

    You guys forget the ANC voters don't have a billing crisis. They don't pay bills, dont care and dont get disconnected.

      WhiteEagle - 2011-02-18 13:48

      You so right, and those that get simply don't pay

  • Martinah - 2011-02-18 13:45

    That's disgusting, we always pay the over charged. Anc is full of crooks

  • masterjane007 - 2011-02-18 13:47

    What if my bill comes straight from Eskom as opposed to City of Johannesburg, and I am also being overcharged and charged for mysterious things nobody can explain?

      masterjane007 - 2011-02-18 13:55

      My bill averages R1 500 per month for consumption and I cannot prove that this is wrong and in addition to that mysterious amounts keep getting added to my bill. In the last three months I was charged three times for "reconnection fees" even though my power was not disconnected. Even though I paid every single last sent that was indicated on my October bill, in November my bill suddenly showed a R3 094.81 balance brought forward past due date. Upon querying it I had the phone slapped down on me and got my power disconnected. Every single month there is some or other "adjustment", sometimes downwards, sometimes upwards - to date nobody has been able to give me a straight answer as to what this is. This month I got a R4 615.04 bill, again with R565 "reconnection fee" added to it, as well as a R2 525.10 "deposit(s)" fee. Nobody knows what this "deposit(s)" fee is for. My bill warns me that if I do not pay, my power will be cut. When I logged yet another complain and asked what about the news reports that state people's power is being cut despite logged complaints, they asked me what I was talking about as they have never heard of such a thing.

  • briansmith702 - 2011-02-18 14:21

    Just another bunny f****p. They will never learn. Send them back to the trees where they belomg.

  • 50something - 2011-02-18 15:29

    Way to go David Dewes. Why don't they (the reporter) give the number for the hotline or is it 011-375-5555, the call centre - which is useless? Masondo mentioned (when there was no crisis) that the problem will be solved within a year - now that there is a crisis, it will probably take muhc longer

  • Souf-Efrikan - 2011-02-18 15:58

    I wonder of most of the protesters are not going to vote again this year? Apparently we don't vote anymore out of protest, so the ANC will just screw you again after the elections. Go and vote and make a difference!!

  • ZACKIE - 2011-02-18 16:39


  • colin langley - 2011-02-18 17:11

    Seeing as i have a bond on my home, so technically the bank owns my home..i will be forwarding all my extremely over inflated bills to the bond department and ask them to pay..coz i'm not...if they don;t..i'll just leave my home..give them the keys and's your problem now

  • steven.m.armour - 2011-02-18 17:21

    Thats a good joke.How soon is soon?Is it when the ANC is forcefully removed from power by the people?When is soon?

  • manyosim - 2011-02-22 12:52

    I pay my bill every months, but suprise my bill go up from R1600.00 to R78000.00. Umsangano ke lo. the billing system is a flop and incopetence staff that cant perform their duty. Instead of solving a problem, City of J.H.B. just go around and cut off services that we pay for. City of J.H.B you realy failed us shame on you.

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