February 28, 2018

Services

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Witzenberg Local Municipality Council Solutions

How we can Help you.
Our company has been dealing with the various council departments for years, we understand how the council works, the different bylaws, and your rights as a property owner. Often the public are not aware of which tariff they should be charged for on their account or whether they should charged at all.
Getting to the right department to get your account query resolved is always an issue, we will relieve you of all the stress of dealing directly with the council with your various utility accounts and do the job on your behalf.
Our fees are reasonable and we only bill our clients once the work has been completed. We offer a detailed explanation of your accounts and advice to avoid further problems.
Please send your stand details, account number and contact details. We will get back to you to see how we can help.

Opening of rates, water & electricity accounts.
Once you have purchased a property whether it is domestic, business, industrial or agricultural, you will need to open the various council accounts. As a land owner in Johannesburg you will need to pay for rates, refuse, water, sewer & electricity.
Depending on what type of consumer and where your property is situated in Johannesburg depends on the Council department you will need to pay for the particular service. Currently consumers pay their utility accounts to City of Johannesburg (COJ), Eskom, City Power and JHB Water.
Our service includes opening any accounts for any of the above, arranging the necessary deposits, and ensuring that the utilities are charged correctly on your account.
More information on utilities charged on council accounts.
Assist with clearance applications for transfer of properties.
We assist in getting clearance figures. If a sellers account is correct then clearance should be issued without any delay, but due to so many council accounts having problems there will always be a delay in getting clearance figures. Our service is to assist with correcting those accounts as quickly as possible and liaising with the various departments to close the calls on the systems so that the clearance can be issued at the council without further delay.
More information on the pitfalls with the current clearance process at the City of Johannesburg.
Investigate valuation issues you may have with your property.
Many home and business owners are unaware of what rates they should be charged. Since the new rates act has come into place there is even more chaos regarding the valuation of your property. We will confirm if your zoning, land usage and valuation is correct. If there is a problem we will raise the issue with the relevant department and get the problem resolved.
More information on land valuation issues.
Assist with getting refunds on accounts that have been closed.
Getting a refund from the council can be a tiresome process if you do not know the correct process. We assist in getting your refund processed quickly by advising you on what documentation and information the council requires to process your refund.
More information on refunds.
Water or sewer leaks, Power problems or upgrades and faulty meters.
If you have problems trying to get the different departments to action any of the above problems you have, we can act on your behalf. Often getting to the right person is part of the problem.

Some more information on City of JHB processes.
The information collected here is as a result of many years of working experience with different council issues. Please be advised that this is a guide line as to your dealings with the City of Johannesburg and not their policy although we endeavor to refer to their guidelines on advising you. Please log on to the City of JHB web site if you need further information.

Rates, water & electricity accounts.
Each stand (erf) will have a rates account, whether the property is used for domestic, business, agricultural or municipal purposes.
Domestic & Business properties have rates, sewer , refuse , water and electricity charges. Depending in which area you live in, you may have one of your utility accounts at City Power, Eskom, Pickitup or JHB Water. You may however have Pre-Paid meters for which you will not be billed on the above accounts.
As a domestic property owner you will always be charged for rates, refuse and sewer at a basic tariff depending on the size and value of your property. There are various bylaws that govern the way the council can charge you for these utilities, it is important that you are aware of what tariff they may charge for sewer and refuse with regards to your land size. The tariff structure for flats, Body Corporate and different size of properties vary. As a domestic property owner you will also be charged at a lower tariff for rates, ensure that you are not paying for vacant land use on your account.
As a business property owner you have a few more choices, you will have a rates account with COJ, but your sewer and water accounts will most likely be with JHB Water and your electricity account could be with either City Power or Eskom. All businesses will pay business tariffs for all utilities. There are a number of different tariffs for the different utilities.
Once you have purchased a property it is important that you open all the necessary utility accounts, the previous owner usually will not be able to close his account before you have opened yours. Thus a refund may sit in the previous owners account for an extended period. The best time to open your accounts is once the property has been registered, this should be done within a month of the date of registration.. The council (COJ), JHB Water, City Power or Eskom will need proof of ownership, a copy of the “Offer to Purchase” or “Title Deed” and a certified copy of the new owners ID will be sufficient. It will be wise to confirm that your utilities all appear on your account in the first few months after opening the account. A deposit will be required for electricity and water which is calculated by multiplying the current consumption by two or three month depending on who the utility provider is.
Our service includes opening any accounts for any of the above accounts, arranging the necessary deposits, and ensuring that the utilities are charged correctly on your account.
Some handy Tips:
If you are living on a property ensure that your rates are charged at 0.004% of your property value, this is the domestic tariff.
If you are renting out your property, try avoid opening a tenants account for your tenants. If they do not pay for their consumption you are liable for the debt as the property owner. You need to ensure that payments are made on a regular basis by monitoring the account.
Go to the COJ web site and register to get your accounts emailed to you.
Register online at COJ web site to do your online meter readings. If the council does not read your meters regularly, which is the case with many accounts, you may end up with a huge bill due to backdated charges.
Check you monthly water consumption, if there is a sudden increase in consumption you may have a leak. JHB Water will not refund you for water wasted due to a leak.
If your water or electricity meters are faulty JHB Water or City Power have to replace them free of charge,note that this only applies if you have an account for that particular meter. They will not replace a sub meter.
Do not pay your account by debit order, through experience ether best way is by EFT / Internet transfer. If your account is incorrectly billed you are grossly overcharged and the council has a debit order you will find it difficult to have the debit order reversed, and the council will not refund your extra bank charges, besides the time it will take to correct the error made.

Assist with clearance applications for transfer of properties.
When applying for a clearance figures ensure that your council account is in order. Ensure that all the necessary charges are on your invoice and that your meter readings are up to date. Most of the delays in obtaining clearances at the council occur due to accounts that have problems such as meters that have not been read for a few months if not longer.
When a clearance application is submitted at the council their system will automatically flag the account if there is a problem on the account. This will lead to you having the calls closed at the various utility departments e.g.: City Power , JHB Water or the Rates department, before the clearance is issued. Correct the account before submitting the application! However in many cases the system does flag accounts that are correct, in this case you will have to approach the various departments to close the calls.
If your figures expire it does not guarantee that you get your extended figures immediately, its possible that meter readings have not been updated while your figures expired. Then of course the council may again implement new procedures which could delay your extended figures as you may not comply with their new policies.
Often home owners have tenants living on their properties, if those accounts are not up to date the seller will be responsible for those accounts. Be sure that the owner has the tenants pay their accounts up to date.
We assist in getting clearance figures. Our service is to assist with correcting those accounts as quickly as possible and liaising with the various departments to close the calls on the systems so that the clearance can be issued at the council without further delay.
Some handy tips:
Ensure the meter readings are updated before the clearance application is submitted.
Have the seller of the property submit the account number on the clearance application.
Pay your clearance before it expires, which is usually about two months after it has been issued.
Clearance figures must be paid via cash or a Trust Cheque from a registered attorney.

Investigate valuation issues you may have with your property.
Many home and business owners are unaware of what rates they should be charged. Since the new rates act has come into place there is even more chaos regarding the valuation of your property.
Ensure that your land usage, and zoning is correct on your account. Many problems arise when the council eventually finds that you have been charged for the incorrect land usage or zoning. The COJ council has the right to backdate you charges for under recovery of rates, they may backdate you to the date of the previous “valuation roll”. As with any of the council issues the COJ council deems that property owners should be aware of the current council regulations and policies, thus you will have no legal grounds, if you have been charged the incorrect rates over a period of time. You as the property owner are responsible to ensure that you are being charged correctly.
We will confirm if your zoning, land usage and valuation is correct. If there is a problem we will raise the issue with the relevant department and get the problem resolved.
Some handy tips:
Ensure you are paying domestic rates and your land usage is not charged as vacant land if your property is used for domestic purposes. the domestic tariff is 0.004% per annum on the value of your property.
Ensure that once property has been built that you obtain an “Occupancy Certificate”. This will assist you in getting your valuation corrected.
Vacant land is charged at 0.012% of your land value.
If you have a business ensure your land usage and zoning are correct.
You can find the zoning information on the COJ web site by looking at the councils free GIS system.

Assist with getting refunds on accounts that have been closed.
Getting a refund from the council can be a tiresome process if you do not know the correct process. We assist in getting your refund processed quickly by advising you on what documentation and information the council requires to process your refund.

Water or sewer leaks, Power problems or upgrades and faulty meters.
If you have problems trying to get the different departments to action any of the above problems you have, we can act on your behalf. Often getting to the right person is part of the problem.