City of Johannesburg executive mayor Mpho Moerane on October 6 launched e-Joburg, a municipal bill presentation and payment portal.
The e-Joburg platform is a self-service portal that enables ratepayers, homeowners, companies, property managing agents and tenants to view and download their current and historical municipal bills, as well as pay their municipal accounts electronically.
Moreover, it allows these users to electronically interact with the city representatives through the Internet or any smart device.
Consumers can update their demographic information to ensure effective communication with the city.
With Phase 1 of the portal up and running, it is expected that other services offered by the municipality will be added on in a phased approach.
Phase 1 entails billing (viewing, downloading and paying). There is also a WhatsApp option for bill notifications, payment notifications and viewing bills.
Other services to be added over the next few weeks in this phase include an extension of e-Joburg onto WhatsApp; allowing users to capture and submit their own meter readings; additional payment instructions; and the autopayment of accounts.
Phase 2 will entail acknowledgement of debt; getting an account balance; and access to more services.
The city is planning to have up to two years’ worth of historical bills available on the site.
Speaking during the launch, Moerane said this was just the beginning of enhanced service delivery to the city’s ratepayers.
Starting with bill management and payment, the city will, over time, develop and deploy automated solutions, migrating as many manual processes as possible.
This is aimed at enhancing revenue management, thereby enabling accelerated service delivery.
Moerane emphasised that the city needed citizens to pay their rates for services so that the city could continue to provide those services.
He expressed his hope that the platform would eradicate problems experienced with payments, as well as negate the need for citizens to stand in long queues or have to make use of call centres.
Moreover, he said it fitted with the city’s vision to become a smart city.
While teething problems are expected, as with any new technology, Moerane encouraged users to use the site and report any issues, so that the city could improve on it and fix any problems.