Joburg Advocacy Group (JAG): January 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tweet if You Want Accountable Government

Social networks are becoming an increasingly powerful tool for dealing with poor governance and unaccountable government, as this Zapiro cartoon, published last week, shows:


USE THE POWER OF SOCIAL NETWORKING TO DEAL WITH THE JOBURG BILLING CRISIS.

FOLLOW OUR TWITTER CAMPAIGN AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION - TWEETS ARE TAGGED #jbills.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Update on the Joburg Municipal Billing Crisis


The residents of Johannesburg have had enough! The municipal billing crisis continues to escalate and the city is doing nothing about it. Even complaints to the Public Protector aren't being acknowledged.


Well, local government may be in a state of collapse, but South Africa is still subject to the rule of law (or, at least, we hope so!). So we've written to the Gauteng Provincial MEC for Local Government and Housing, asking him to initiate an official investigation into the crisis in terms of the Municipal Systems Act and the Constitution.

The DA has used this letter and the information leaflet we issued in November to motivate for a special session of Council to debate the billing crisis as a matter of urgency. The party's Finance Committee has been trying to get this issue onto the agenda for several months, but all requests have been denied by the Speaker, who feels the matter isn't urgent! We're waiting to hear what the response to this request will be.

In the meantime, our special thanks to Jenny Crwys-Williams, one of the country's top consumer journalists, for mentioning our call for an investigation on her Radio 702 talk show yesterday. Jenny has been covering the billing crisis in depth, and we're very grateful for her support.

Today, reports are coming in that over 100 angry residents are protesting outside the Council's offices demanding that billing errors be rectified. Watch the press for details or follow our Joburg Billing Crisis Campaign on Twitter - posts are tagged #jbills.

Lead image courtesy of The Hurst Review.