Jo’burg residents protest over ‘billing crisis’

Johannesburg residents protested over council billing complaints outside the city’s customer service centre in Braamfontein on Friday.

Protesters, led by Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor David Dewes, handed over a memorandum of demands to a representative of 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 alleged 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, un-hindered by the rain, danced and sang during the protest.

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

“The hotline will be run by competent staff members. We are saying that we are hearing the noise, we are responding”.

Her speech was followed by cries from protesters of “Do we wait another 20 years?”

‘A joke?’
Protesters, dressed in blue DA t-shirts and caps, carried signs that read: “Masondo is not a leader, he is a money bleeder.”

Charges were laid by a Blairgowrie resident this month against Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo and member of the mayoral committee for finance Parks Tau for contravening the Municipal Systems Act, said Dewes.

The act says that the municipality must take reasonable steps to ensure that residents are aware of the costs involved in service provision, he said.

Lombardy East resident, Evert Kleynhans, said he received a bill last year for R35 000. When he didn’t pay it the municipality cut off his electricity.

“Because the electricity was cut-off my automated gate stopped working. I was hi-jacked the one night while getting out of my car to open the gate manually.”

Roodepoort resident Mike Naidoo said he received a bill this month, that began at R15 000 late in 2009 and eventually accumulated to R197 000.

“I have complained so much to the city that I now have 17 reference numbers, where do I go from here?” he asked.

Martini Marica, a Kensington resident, said she received a bill for R28 000 in September last year.

“I went to my husband and I said ‘Is this a joke?’. I carried on paying every month what we usually paid which was about R800 but then in January I got a bill for R48 000”. — Sapa


Mabuza’s ‘distant relative’ scored big

Eskom’s woes are often because of boiler problems at its power plants. R50-billion has been set aside to fix them, but some of the contracts are going to questionable entities

ANC faction gunning for Gordhan

The ambush will take place at an NEC meeting about Eskom. But the real target is Cyril Ramaphosa

Despite tweet, Zuma keeps silent about providing his taxpayer information

The Public Protector has still not received confirmation from former president Jacob Zuma that she may access his tax records —...

Ahead of WEF, Mboweni will have to assure investors that...

The finance minister says despite the difficult fiscal environment, structural reforms are under way to put SA on a new growth path

Press Releases

New-style star accretion bursts dazzle astronomers

Associate Professor James O Chibueze and Dr SP van den Heever are part of an international team of astronomers studying the G358-MM1 high-mass protostar.

2020 risk outlook: Use GRC to build resilience

GRC activities can be used profitably to develop an integrated risk picture and response, says ContinuitySA.

MTN voted best mobile network

An independent report found MTN to be the best mobile network in SA in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Is your tertiary institution is accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

Is your tertiary institution accredited?

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education, which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training.

VUT chancellor, Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi, dies

The university conferred the degree of Doctor of Science Honoris Causa on Dr Xolani Mkhwanazi for his outstanding leadership contributions to maths and science education development.

Innovate4AMR now in second year

SA's Team pill-Alert aims to tackle antimicrobial resistance by implementing their strategic intervention that ensures patients comply with treatment.

Medical students present solution in Geneva

Kapil Narain and Mohamed Hoosen Suleman were selected to present their strategic intervention to tackle antimicrobial resistance to an international panel of experts.