It takes time to get through to the City

Arthur Clarke, Tokai

The City council provides the cell number 0860 103 089 for virtually every enquiry. About a year ago in the Constantiaberg Bulletin I asked whether a voice recording could not be arranged to tell you approximately how long one would have to wait before the phone was answered as is done when you phone 1023 to ascertain a telephone number.

Someone from the City replied in this paper that this was being investigated. Clearly not. Money is very tight. Thousands of people must be kept hanging on and on and on wasting their precious rands, never knowing whether or when they will get an answer. Pathetic service.

* The City’s media manager, Luthando Tyhalibongo, responds: While the vast majority of calls are answered well within an agreed time, it is not always possible to do so due to spikes in call volumes.

The City’s call centre responded to 2.5 million contacts in the last financial year which included about 500 000 telephone calls and one million digital contacts via WhatsApp, emails and SMS.

The queue-management software recommended by Mr Clarke is extremely expensive and unaffordable at this stage.

Phoning the call centre is but one option to communicate with the City.

We encourage residents to use the following channels to query their accounts and log service requests, which will help to alleviate high call volumes:

· The self-service option via the City’s website: to report a fault (on the trending bar on the home page)

· Register for e-services on the City’s website to view accounts, log meter readings, etc.

· WhatsApp on the mobile number 063 407 3699 for water-related queries

· Email: for water-related queries

· SMS 31373 for water-related queries

· SMS 31220 for electricity-related queries

· Email: for account-related queries

The call centre is currently looking to extend the WhatsApp platform to a wider range of City services to further increase response times.

The City apologises for any inconvenience caused.