The latest billing crisis at the City of Johannesburg that saw thousands of incorrect monthly bills sent out was as a result of Mayor Herman Mashaba’s poor leadership, the African National Congress (ANC) in Johannesburg said on Thursday.
About 97 000 accounts were issued with incorrect statements and as many as 412 000 monthly statements were simply not sent out to users.
“The ANC Greater Johannesburg region notes Mr Mashaba’s assertion that the system was tampered with. This brings to the fore an element of suspected sabotage,” said ANC Johannesburg spokesperson, Jolidee Matongo, in a statement.
“As the ANC we understand that information technology systems do fail … it is ironic that when the IT systems failed during the tenure of the ANC government, the DA [Democratic Alliance] was quick to say that the ANC government was grossly incompetent.”
The city’s billing problem, experienced by the previous ANC administration, reared its ugly head again affecting April accounts.
Mashaba, who is a member of the DA, said it was suspected that the automated system was tampered with as it “has never produced an error of this magnitude before”.
“This will result in certain households receiving two statements this month; we apologise for any confusion caused. Double billing is a historical issue in our city and we have plans in place to ensure that it is a thing of the past by the end of June, 2017,” Mashaba said on Wednesday.
“We appeal to all residents affected by this confusion to proceed to make payment based on the historical average billing of their accounts.”
Matongo accused Mashaba of poor leadership and that he “exhibited negative energy”.
“The real problem in the city of Johannesburg is the lack of focus by the DA coalition government on basic things that make Johannesburg Africa’s prestigious metropolitan city.
“The focus of the DA coalition has been on chasing unfounded allegations of corruption and spending millions of tax payers’ money on this without any success.”