The city of Johannesburg has admitted that billing complaints were keeping the municipal ombudsman’s office on its toes with over 400 coming in a month.
The City confirmed that in January alone, 433 cases of billing queries were opened, 36 relating to property valuations and rates, 12 to development planning, nine to water and sanitation, and the balance to other services.
The City said just within six months after establishment of the office, it had already received more than 1 500 inquiries from disgruntled Johannesburg residents and business operators.
And of the 1 500 inquiries the City said about 600 matured into actual cases and of those, about 96 had been resolved.
Last year, the city’s executive mayor Parks Tau cut the ribbon to the doors of the office of the ombudsman for the city of Johannesburg and officially declared it open for business and resident’s complaints.
Tau said the office was created with the sole aim of providing confidential and impartial assistance in resolving disputes and grievances by Johannesburg residents and businesses.
The ombudsman, Advocate S’duduzo Gumede, said in a statement that the office was responsible for investigating complaints, reporting findings and mediating fair settlements.
The ombudsman “has handled more than 270 walk-ins to date and there seems to be a desire from residents to deal face-to-face with the office.
Residents can also lodge complaints through a dedicated call centre and via email,” said Gumede in a statement.