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Roadmap to Improve Johannesburg’s Billing Woes
Source: BuaNews
Source Date: Friday, November 25, 2011
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 25, 2011

A 19-month time frame was realistic for the implementation of a complete customer and citizen friendly model as well as service standards, Fowler added.


Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo, member of the Mayoral Committee for Finance, said issues of revenue and customer relations were among the main concerns raised by the city’s stakeholders.


“The normalisation of the city’s billing situation is and has been a priority of government over the past months. The mayoral committee has identified this as one of the key issues to be resolved as we move towards achieving our vision of being a world-class African city,” he said.


The roadmap has two main objectives - improving the accuracy and integrity of the billing data, and improving customer experiences as they interact with the city, Makhubo explained.


The city’s Chief Operating Officer, Gerald Dumas, said the roadmap comprised three phases.


Phase one aims to achieve some “quick wins” and improve customer experience. With a February 2012 deadline, objectives of this phase include improving the accuracy of bills; increase efficiency in the process of resolving customers’ queries; improving customer interface; and clearing the backlog in property valuations and customer queries.


Phase two’s main goal is stabilisation. The city hopes to have consistent customer information; a credit management system that has been enhanced to be more customer responsive; provide key customers with correct bills, resolve queries and make arrangements to settle outstanding debt and maintain the accuracy of bills.


The deadlines set for the objectives of this phase are June and December 2012.


Dumas said the final phase would concentrate on maintenance and improvement.


By mid-2013, the city wants to have in place a comprehensive review and alignments of its revenue model; the installation of new generation meters and technology to meet the needs of customers; a reduction in non-technical electricity losses; customer access to e-services and smart meters; and continuous billing accuracy, management of customer data and the quality of meter readings.
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