City starts door-to-door campaign, targeting defaulting customers

Photo: File

The City of Johannesburg is going on a door-to-door campaign to educate its customers about paying their accounts on time and resolving their queries.

It will also include updating customers’ data, one of the leading causes of the billing crisis.

City spokesperson, Kgamanyane Maphologela, said the campaign would start on 14 June in Region E (Bryanston, Sandton, Kew, Bramley, Houghton Estate and Sandhurst), and focus on those customers who have not responded to the City’s requests to pay their accounts.

“Over and above visiting customers and educating them about the importance of paying their accounts consistently, on time and in full, we would also use the opportunity to do data cleansing whereby we would update the customers’ details and seek to resolve some of their queries,” Maphologela said.

Maphologela said the City would spend two days in Region E interacting with customers and the campaign may be extended to other regions.

“The City has launched the programme in a bid to be pro-active and engage customers on a one-on-one basis, to try to understand the reasons as to why they have stopped paying their accounts. These are customers we have written to inform them of their outstanding debt. We want to move away from simply cutting off the customers’ services such as water and electricity,” said Maphologela.

He added that many customers assumed that while they still have pending queries or have not received their monthly statements, they should stop paying for the services they consume.

READ: Billing regionalisation starts 

According to the City’s Credit Control and Debt Collection Policy, the customer has a responsibility to still pay for the services they receive; even though they might not have yet received their account statement, he said.

“While the City conducts it door-to-door campaign on defaulting customers, the officials will also be assisting customers who are unable to pay their municipal accounts due to financial reasons. Such customers would be assisted to sign an Acknowledgement of Debt (AOD), where they would be able to pay a determined amount they can afford.

“Customers applying for the AOD must admit the debt owed and arrange with the City to pay in installments the outstanding amounts. This is to assist the customers and ensure that customers are able to make a minimum amount in the form of installments and that they don’t fall into a debt trap. The customers would also be assisted to complete a lifestyle assessment to determine affordability with regards to their outstanding debt.”

You can still pay your account using third-party payment methods. If you don’t like queues, you may pay using any of the listed methods below:

  • With EasyPay, facilitating a quick payment option at many shops that you visit on a regular basis, including Pick n Pay and Shoprite Checkers
  • Debit orders
  • Direct deposits at major banks
  • ATMs
  • Internet and cellphone banking
  • SA Post Office.

You can also call the City’s Call Centre on 0860 Joburg (562 874) to find alternative Customer Services Centres near you, or visit the City’s website for more information.

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Chantelle Fourie

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