Beware of agents threatening to cut off services - City of Joburg warns residents

City of Johannesburg has warned residents to exercise caution when approached by people claiming to agents who want to cut services.
City of Johannesburg has warned residents to exercise caution when approached by people claiming to agents who want to cut services.
Image: Felix Lipov/123RF STOCK PHOTO

Residents have been warned not to entertain people claiming to be agents from the City of Johannesburg who are threatening to cut off services.

The metropolitan municipality issued the warning on Tuesday, saying there are currently no municipal agents that have been assigned to disconnect water or electricity supply. The city issued this warning in a media statement in which it was announcing the new tariff increases that were passed by council last week.

"Residents are advised that there are currently no municipal agents assigned to their properties to disconnect water or electricity supply. Residents are also warned to immediately report to the police anyone arriving at their properties claiming to be either Johannesburg Water or City Power officials/agents assigned to cut off services during the lockdown period, and then request a bribe to immediately reconnect them," read the statement.

 

The city added that its new tariff increases were set to take effect from  July 14 and were aimed at cushioning "residents from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown".

"The enforcement of the new tariffs comes after the Johannesburg council recently approved the metropolitan’s 2020/21 budget, tariffs and the integrated development plan following a delay in the approval of the budget. The city took a decision to reduce the initially proposed property rate from 4.9% to 4%, the water tariff dropped from a proposed 8.6% to 6.6 and the proposed 8.10% increase for electricity has been reduced to 6.23%," read the statement.

"…the city also took a decision to withdraw the proposed fixed charges of R200 for residential pre-paid electricity and the R400 for commercial [properties]. The recent budget approval delay resulted in the billing system being briefly suspended for rebooting to launch a new financial year with the updated tariffs.

"The delayed system transition into a new financial year, which falls within the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown, saw billing only commence two working days after the Johannesburg Council’s approvals.

 

"Therefore, ratepayers are advised that billing for the month of July will subsequently be delayed, and no penalties will be imposed on ratepayers in this regard. The pre-termination of service notices that were issued since the beginning of the lockdown will also not be executed in line with the Covid-19 regulations not to cut off municipal services during the period."

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