Dennis Williams Realtors Logo
You are here: Dennis Williams Realtors / Latest News / Durban Billing Staff Want Answers

Durban billing staff want answers


Durban billing staff want answers

eThekwini Revenue Management Services (RMS) employees are unable to explain the huge municipal bills to enquiring ratepayers.

This led to the employees picketing at the revenue services unit recently demanding to be addressed by management.

Queen Mbatha, Independent Municipal and Allied Trade Union (Imatu) vice president, said their members were frustrated by the municipality's lack of urgency to resolve the billing issue.

Ratepayers have been receiving inconsistent and inflated municipal bills for electricity and water usage.

"The mayor herself acknowledged that the billing system was not accurate. The community is unhappy and they take their frustration out on our members, so that's why they demanded to be addressed by the management on Tuesday. Krish Kumar, deputy city manager, appealed for patience," said Mbatha.

She said they had given the municipality until month-end to advise how best the system could work.

An Imatu member, who asked not to be named, said it was frustrating when they could not explain to customers why bills had escalated.

"It's punishment coming to this place in the morning knowing that you will be bombarded with questions that you have no answers to. In fact, the affected people, and the community at large, look at us as stupid because we don't know how the system works. This is really frustrating," she said.

The system was introduced last year and it hit a snag immediately.

In August, mayor Zandile Gumede said the city was appointing an independent person or body to look into the system after complaints by ratepayers.

At the time, Gumede had said she had personally received "a number of calls" from concerned residents.

"These complaints and concerns need to be processed professionally. Residents are bringing these concerns to me as the mayor. I cannot deal with individual queries. By appointing an independent person or body to look at the RMS, we can deal with this properly," Gumede said.

She also contradicted herself by saying the intervention was not an indication that the RMS system had problems, but was aimed at addressing individual complaints from residents based on merit.

Yesterday, Mthunzi Gumede, the mayor's spokesperson, said the mayor needed a report from the investigators within two months.

"This report will be detailing what the issues are with the current revenue collection system. We have had instances where people in RDP houses, even though some of them are unemployed, would receive bills for rates," he said.

"Even the employees can't explain to ratepayers. The mayor is very concerned about the system, hence her call for the report," Gumede said.

Sharon Hoosen, DA Exco member, said the system took off on a bad note.

"With more than R700 million spent on this system, it has brought in more problems than ever before. Months down the line and there are still tensions among staff and management on operating the system and troubleshooting issues.

"Clearly, the staff are at the receiving end of the wrath of the customers," Hoosen said.

She said the city needed to hold the company managing and maintaining the system, accountable.

Author IOL
Published 25 Oct 2017 / Views -
Disclaimer:  While every effort will be made to ensure that the information contained within the Dennis Williams Realtors website is accurate and up to date, Dennis Williams Realtors makes no warranty, representation or undertaking whether expressed or implied, nor do we assume any legal liability, whether direct or indirect, or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information. Prospective purchasers and tenants should make their own enquiries to verify the information contained herein.