The City of Johannesburg is prepared to take legal action against residents who refuse to pay for municipal services even though they have the means to do so.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said he had a meeting with officials in the Revenue Department concerning the city’s longstanding billing crisis and it is already working to address these issues.

“The city has taken the decision to institute credit management processes against these individuals and will pursue legal action where necessary,” the mayor noted.

Mashaba added that the city would also reveal the identity of these who continue to refuse to pay their municipal accounts.

“These same individuals are those who invariably drive up the costs of municipal services for paying residents; this is not fair,” he said.

Households not on the system

Mashaba also revealed that there are 1 166 households that are not registered with the city’s billing system despite using the municipal services.

“This reflects substantial potential loses to the city which has been going on for quite some time,” the mayor said.

He added that the city’s billing system has been plagued by mismanagement under past administrations and corruption by some City officials and contractors connected to departments and entities.

To rectify the situation the municipality will be conducting an audit of properties and meters in addition to enforcing consequence and performance management for contractors.

The municipality will also be holding Billing Open Days to give ratepayers and property owners a platform to interact with revenue front line staff to assist to remedy or update municipal accounts. This is to ensure that the disconnections are conducting properly.