IT IS A time to be jolly but that does not mean that you should let your guard down – especially this festive season. There is no doubt that 2020 has been a very challenging year in all aspects of our lives with most people having lost not only their loved ones but also their source of income.
Criminals have also been hit hard, what with lockdown and the skyrocketing level of unemployment. This means that this festive season they are desperate and will use the madness and busyness that comes with this time of the year to make up for that “lost” income.
Don’t be a victim, warns the City of Johannesburg, remain vigilant in everything that you do.
The City would especially like to warn all its customers especially during this festive to be aware of people masquerading as City Power and Johannesburg Water officials.
According to the city’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service’s Head, General Shadrack Sibiya, these criminals show up at their client’s doors using their uniform and identity cards to gain access in order to collect money and commit crime.
“What people need to know is that the city’s entities do not come to residents’ houses to collect payments for its services. These people are a syndicate and have people from inside that they are working with hence they have all the information about you and how much your debt is,” says Sibiya.
He urges the residents to verify the identity of City Power and Johannesburg Water employees or contractors by demanding to see their identity cards and further ask for a job card with work order number for the work they purport to be doing.
Residents are urged to make payments only at City of Johannesburg walk-in-centres and customer care offices and must insist on being given receipts.
“If the bogus officials demand payments from you under the pretext that they come from City Power or Johannesburg Water, report them to the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service Department’s investigators,” says Sibiya.
He has warned residents not to fall victim to offers by the city officials that they can write-off your debt if you give them something on the side.
Says Sibiya: “There is no such, all they can do is just give you a printed receipt that shows as if your debt has been written off which is just a temporary measure that they do on the system. Your debt will be back on the system come the next billing month.”
To verify credentials for City Power contact:
(011) 490 7911/ (011) 490 7553 / (011) 490 7900
or the toll free number: 0800 003 251
For Johannesburg Water residents can call (011) 688 1400 during office hours for assistance.
The Anti-Fraud and Corruption Hotline: 0800 002 587 or alternatively contact the nearest Police Station or CPF Office.