LettersOpinion

Questions raised about service delivery

Kobus Kotze wrote that we have all become used to bad service from municipalities and accept it. We no longer complain or make our voices heard as nobody seems to take notice anyway.

I wish to bring the following frustrating matter to your attention:

On Thursday, 5 September at approximately 16:30 our electricity supply was disconnected. There was no prior warning of any kind. The arrear amount was R864.43, the current amount due is R863.51. The total outstanding amount is R1727.94. The account indicates that a service levy for reconnection will be R609.90.(Almost the same as the arrear amount).

This account was for rates and not electricity. It was already after office hours and all attempts to contact someone failed. On Friday morning after spending approximately 2 hours holding the lines, we eventually reached someone. We made the payment and then faxed and e-mailed proof of the paid amount to the offices.

On Saturday morning I tried to phone them again and, after holding, being put through to other numbers and being cut off for about 1.5 hours, a person eventually told me that the electricity department can not be reached as their switchboard does not work on weekends.

I was told to go to 373 Pretorius Street before 12:00 because they will then be closing. I went to 373 Pretorius Street. There is no public parking and after circling the block 4-5 times I had to park about two city blocks away. (I would not want any of my family to walk on those streets to the offices).

At the offices I was told to go to counter 5B and stood in the queue to be serviced. Anyone who want to experience the level of service we are receiving from this city council should visit counters 5 and 7 and speak to the people waiting in the queue. It does not ignite ‘excellence’ as stated by the logo.

After about 2 hours in the queue I presented the documents again and asked for an update about the reconnection. They could not tell me if they had received it and I had to insist that they submit the documents again. The only answer they were willing to give is that it could take up to 48 hours. They also not were clear if the 48 hours included weekends.

We tried to phone again on Sunday to get an update but were told the electricity department cannot be reached on weekends. On Monday morning we got through to someone who said they don’t know why it is taking so long and that they will contact us with a reconnection time. We are still waiting. We have now been without power since Thursday afternoon and still have no indication if or when the power will be reconnected.

I have the following questions:

Why disconnect our electricity because of a problem on the rates account? Why disconnect the electricity without any prior warning? Why disconnect the power right before the weekend? Is this to make sure we will be without power until the Monday because of the ‘up to 48 hours’ timeline?

They install the latest telephone systems, which now makes it almost impossible to reach the correct department. On weekends you hold the line thinking that someone will attend to your call, but their switchboard is not attended to. Why is it necessary to visit their offices after sending mails and faxes? At their office there is no indication whether you are in the right queue. What do they mean by ‘up to 48 hours’? From when? Where can we complain about the service we receive?

Unfortunately we have all become used to bad service from municipalities and accept it. We no longer complain or make our voices heard as nobody seems to take notice anyway. I know that I may be knocking on the wrong door. I do not expect any feedback, but wish to bring to your attention the service excellence we are receiving from the City of Tshwane.

 
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