The ANC receiving an erroneous bill from the City of Johannesburg highlights the extent of the ongoing billing crisis in the city, the DA said on Tuesday.
“It also exposes the absurdity of the mayor’s continued denial that there is a crisis,” Democratic Alliance Johannesburg leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.
“Perhaps now that the crisis has reached Luthuli House, we will see a more proactive and speedy response from Mayor [Parks] Tau,” he said.
On Tuesday, eNCA reported on its website that the ANC had received an erroneous bill for R3.5 million from the City of Johannesburg for outstanding rates, taxes, and electricity.
The bill, dated May 24, 2013, was for services for the African National Congress’s Luthuli House headquarters, and contained a threat of legal action.
The eNCA website published a copy of the municipal bill. It indicated that the ANC owed R3,511,248.44.
ANC spokesman Keith Khoza told eNCA the party had lodged a formal complaint in which it disputed the amount shown against what was paid.
City spokesman Stanley Maphologela told the broadcaster: “The Luthuli account was among the well-paid accounts, on a monthly basis without fail.”
He said the ANC had brought the billing error to the municipality’s attention, and that the problem had been rectified.
Maimane said the city “stuck its head in the sand” by attempting to resolve the crisis by closing billing queries which had been outstanding for more than 90 days.
“As a result, residents who have paid incorrect bills in an effort to prevent disconnections will not receive a refund,” he said.
“Thousands of residents in the City of Johannesburg have been negatively affected by the inability of the city to get its billing system right, which has resulted in unnecessary service cut-offs and a massive decrease in revenue collection.”