C3 complaint system under scrutiny

Complaints include potholes.

Some service complaints logged with the City are being signed off when they haven’t been resolved, says a civic leader.

Faizel Petersen, chairman of the Goodwood Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association, says the association has had complaints about the way in which some of the service requests, dubbed C3 notifications, are resolved by the City.

“We often find C3 calls are marked complete without any action having taken place. That amounts to fraud to manipulate the statistics presented to monthly sub-council meetings of the number of service calls successfully being completed,” said Mr Petersen.

The C3 notification system is an electronic method for reporting and tracking general problems. 

Set up in 2007, issues can include broken litter bins; the condition of parks; broken/missing traffic signs; potholes; broken/missing drain covers; blocked stormwater drains; trees growing into electricity lines; weeds growing in the gutters/pavements; and street lights not working.

Ward councillor Cecile Janse van Rensburg, whose ward 27 comprises Goodwood,  said there was a three-day turnaround for completion of complaints.

At the sub-council meeting on Thursday February 20, C3 statistics were on the agenda. 

Blocked or overflowing sewers were ranked top with 661 reported and 655 completed. 

Water and sanitation, meter queries and reconnection came second with 268 calls, all listed as completed. 

Lower down the list were potholes at 59 reported and completed; illegal dumping at 58 reported, 51 completed; 11 weed-spraying reports and cleared with only and seven noise-nuisance complaints.

The statistics are also broken down by ward. In Goodwood, electricity is the number one complaint – there were 64 of them. These statistics are also divided by ward. 

Electricity tops, 64, statistics for the Goodwood area followed by Blocked sewers numbered 37, and street lights, 38.

All of the complaints for Goodwood were listed as complete apart from three calls for street-lights.

Mr Petersen provided Northern News with examples of C3 complaints that had been sent to the City and which had subsequently been signed off as complete even though they weren’t, according to him. 

These include a manhole cover needing replacement in Townsend Street, weed spraying in Beaufort Street, a pothole in Voortrekker Road and a footway/road in need of repair in Caledon Street. 

Another resident has complained twice about drinking in public on the corner of Milton and Townsend streets. All complaints are marked complete but, according to Mr Petersen, they are not.

City Law Enforcement spokesman Wayne Dyason, spokesperson for Law Enforcement said the City’s Law Enforcement Department said they were attending to these complaints and feedback would be given to the complainants as soon as possible. 

Mayco member for water and waste services Xanthea Limberg said that during the 2017/2018 financial year, City staff had attended to 588 504 service requests. 

If each service request were a seat in the Cape Town Stadium, the venue would be filled five times over, she said.

By comparison, in the 2014/2015 financial year, a total of 372 451 service requests had been logged and attended to.

Report complaints to 021 480 7700 from a cellphone, 107 from a landline, email contactus@capetown.gov.za, or SMS 31373.