Municipalities should be regulated by an independent institution

SUBJECT:  City of Tshwane new Waste Management fee 2017.

REGARDING:  City of Tshwane new Waste Management fee – City cleaning charge: domestic City Cleaning Charge: No of bins 1 to commence on 1 January 2018 (as per City of Tshwane press statement dated 20 October 2017).

BACKGROUND:  In October 2017 City of Tshwane rolled out a “new” Waste Management fee for Tshwane residents to the amount of R144,83 (Private resident) per month, backdated for 4 months from 1 July 2017.  There
was a public outcry on this matter and then the City of Tshwane released a press statement on 20 October to address the matter.

Hereby our concerns, recommendation and conclusion after the 20 October 2017 City of Tshwane press statement:

POINTS OF CONCERN

  • From the initial “scrambled” attempt dates were given – indicating that this is a special levy for a year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018). The second “press statement” attempt – the date are moved to 1 January 2018 with no expiry date.  This points to lack of transparency and misrepresenting the people of Tshwane.
  • Municipalities implement new fees and rules without being regulated.  This leads to abuse of authority and power and unfair treatment of customers.
  • The current customer care reporting structure is to NO USE  to the public to make a complaint.  It functions as a switchboard only.

OUR REQUEST AND RECOMMENDATION:

  • We require an independent institution by statute to oversee the South African Municipalities in the public interest.  This institution should ensure that customers are treated fairly by the municipalities, and that the customer enjoy a safe, fair and ethical environment.  All fees charged by municipalities should be regulated.
  • We require an independent ombudsman by statute to consider disputes between consumers and municipalities. 

CONCLUSION:

No more illegal and unfair fees until the Municipalities are regulated properly with an independent ombudsman.  You can not charge the people for “waste management” in a region when the municipality does not clean up that region – this would then be “misrepresentation” on our statements for “waste management” fees and would be classified as fraud.

 

Here follow the second “press statement” attempt by City of Tshwane:

City to review city cleansing levy charges and refund affected consumers

20 October 2017
Release: Immediate

The City of Tshwane has discovered that premises that are not serviced by the City but by private contractors were not charged with the city cleansing levy, even though the tariff structure for refuse removal has always contained the city cleansing charge.

The city cleansing levy, is to cover the cost of, for example, illegal dumping and city and street cleaning services. This charge has been levied against all premises serviced by the City for a number of years.

This was found to be unfair and inequitable as not all customers who reside in the City of Tshwane were contributing towards the cost of cleaning the city from illegal dumping and littering. With effect from 1 July 2017 all customers irrespective of whether they are serviced by the City or by the private sector for refuse removal, were required to pay the city cleansing levy.

MMC for Finance Cllr Mare-Lise Fourie acknowledged that it was regrettable that due to technical difficulties with ICT upgrading to the billing system, the actual levying of the charge on customers serviced by the private sector was delayed for a period which, unfortunately, resulted in backdated charges.

“The City recognizes the impact that this has had on these consumers and has taken the decision to postpone the implementation of the city cleansing levy to 1 January 2018. All charges levied prior to this date on these consumers will therefore be refunded to affected consumers”, said Fourie. 

The City would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.

We commit to allocating resources to all Regions in the City to assist with cleaning operations. This is an important element of attracting new investment into the City which will contribute towards job creation and the alleviation of poverty, added Fourie.

The City thanks all residents for their understanding and patience while we work relentlessly towards correcting the mistakes of the past and building a City we can all be proud of.

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