Residents of Tshwane are advised to distance themselves from online companies that claim to have a relationship with the city, but charge a fee to solve municipal issues.
The City of Tshwane noticed two companies on social media – Munsolve Tshwane and Tshwane Accounts Consultants – advertising to help residents with their billing issues at a fee, Tshwane MMC for finance Mare-Lise Fourie told The Citizen yesterday.
According to the Tshwane Accounts Consultants’ Facebook page, the business deals with accounts in arrears, even if paid, at a monthly “premium” of R29 for 12 months.
“No frustrations. Just one call and it’s sorted,” it read. Munsolve’s Facebook page states it was “contributing to municipalities by improving the integrity of the bills they render.”
“Enjoy our services! With your subscription and moral support, Munsolve will change the manner in which you are treated by municipalities in SA,” the page read. Fourie said: “Those are the two names I am aware of. They charge a fee to take an account query, irrespective of what it is. And some are simple to resolve.”
But these services were offered for free at municipal offices and the city had no relationship with such companies to speed up account complaints, she added.
“These companies advertise on social media as if they have contact with the city to speed up complaints. “We have no relationship with anyone to speed up complaints on accounts. We don’t need it and encourage residents not to pay for these services because they can get it free of charge at the city.”
To resolve municipal billing problems, residents are encouraged to call the contact centre to lodge a formal complaint or dispute and obtain a reference number. Should their problems not be resolved in a reasonable time, residents are advised to call their ward councillors to escalate the matter.
“We can’t tell if this is a scam or not. But we are discouraging people from using the service,” Fourie said. “This has nothing to do with the city, but between individuals and those companies.”