Free Call Line to bring customer care closer to the poor

Cape Town takes the lead

Free Call Lines will improve service delivery by increasing access to the City’s call centre

The City of Cape Town has launched a Free Call Line at the Luyolo Multipurpose Centre in Gugulethu as it takes another step in bringing customer care closer to disadvantaged communities.

"The City has installed 64 Free Call Lines in outlying areas and disadvantaged communities in Cape Town and a further 20 are set to be connected by the end of July 2013. Many informal settlements, including some without Telkom infrastructure, will benefit from these new lines," the City announced in a meida release. 

“The purpose of the Free Call Lines is to improve service delivery by increasing access to the City’s call centre. We are extending the network of Free Call telephones to areas where low volumes of service complaints and requests are currently being registered – usually because of a lack of cellphone airtime on the part of the customer or a lack of available telephone lines,” says the City’s Member of the Mayoral Committee for Corporate Services, Alderman Demetri Qually.

The Free Call Lines can be used to contact the City for various enquiries and service requests such as accounts enquiries, refuse collection, illegal dumping, water leaks, sewer blockages, faulty street lights, potholes and damaged roads.

A call centre agent will respond to queries from customers using the Free Call Lines and, where further action is required by a particular service department, the complaint or request will be logged by means of a service request. The customer will be provided with a reference number for follow-up purposes.

The pilot phase of this project was launched in July 2009 when four Free Call Lines were installed in City facilities.

"The lines connect directly with the City’s call centre number, and residents are encouraged to report faults, register complaints and make enquiries at no cost. They will also now receive an acknowledgement SMS with reference number for follow-up,” says Alderman Qually.

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