Anger at city’s charges for the poor

2013-03-19 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality’s declaration on Sunday that there would be no reimbursement for poor people on the indigent list who have paid for their electricity in full has drawn an angry response.

The chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg and District Council for the Aged, Peter Miller, said they were left with no alternative but to seek legal opinion on the matter.

“The facts are simple. In May 2012 the municipality came up with an indigent policy. That policy was supposed to go on review.

“Nothing happened and all the indigent in the city got charged normal rates — the same as the affluent were paying in Montrose and Wembley.

“Nothing was done to bring relief to this category.”

Miller said the statement by municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma in yesterday’s Witness, that there would be no reimbursement for those who were charged in full was outrageous.

He said indigents spent as much as 40% of their monthly grants of R1 200 on electricity.

DA councillor Mergan Chetty said indigent residents should not bear the financial burden because the municipality had failed to get its act together.

He said a portion of the equitable share from the national government was meant to subsidise services to the poor. He questioned what the money was used for.

• nalini@witness.co.za

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