Johannesburg - Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has vowed to take charge of the billing crisis residents have been complaining about for years. "I promised the residents that they would get our very best to relieve them of the misery they have endured at the hands of our billing system. Unfortunately, to date, they have not received this," he said in a statement. A service provider had been appointed to investigate billing inaccuracies and all key vacancies within the city’s finance department would be filled. He said they would focus on the resolution of billing queries the revenue call centre had logged, and that the current turnaround times, lack of feedback and customer care were unacceptable. "I will personally be taking charge of the situation and seeing to the alleviation of the suffering our residents have endured," he said. It had taken a long time to analyse the full magnitude of the billing crisis in the finance department. He said the DA-led administration had inherited a system where corruption and mismanagement flourished in an environment of chaos and disorder. Efforts had been made to reduce the time between consumption and payment for services. This had resulted in the due date for bills being brought forward by about three weeks. As a consequence, many account holders received two bills in one month. Those people who failed to pay both accounts were placed in arrears, were charged interest on those arrears and were charged fees for pre-termination notices. Mashaba said all residents who had been in good standing with the city for the 12 months prior to February 2017, and whose accounts were in arrears, would have the interest written off. This would be corrected on their September statements. He said the city would hold open days on Saturday to help residents with their billing problems.