Citizens need answers

2011-10-13 00:00

I WANT to voice my concern, concerning the lack of transparency shown by the Msunduzi Municipality with regard to the R2 000 electricity safety deposit. I must agree with the comments made by Samantha Govender in her letter titled “Deplorable customer service”, as the women who handle customer queries are rude and arrogant. I have watched as the elderly are treated with total disrespect. On one of my visits to the municipal office, I was tempted to ask one of these women whether they would speak to their parents with such disrespect. My concern as a ratepayer in this city is, however, the R2 000 electricity deposit that is required. From my understanding should consumers not pay their account on the last day of the month, their service will be disconnected and they will be required to pay the outstanding amount. Added to this would be the reconnection fee of about R800. If I, as a customer, am finding it difficult to pay my electricity bill, where am I going to find the money for this deposit? If somebody in the municipality can answer the questions below, I will appreciate it.

• Why has the municipality not informed the citizens of this city about this clause which they are now enforcing? There were notices in the press on the water-reduction measures, so why not this deposit clause?

• Where will this deposit be re- flected, because if it is not paid it goes into the 30-day arrear column on the bill?

• Why is there not a column for deposit paid on the bill?

• Even though a customer’s muni-cipal bill is up to date, should the deposit not be paid, the municipality will disconnect the services. Why is this so?

• What measure has the municipality put in place to help consumers who cannot pay a deposit?

• Why is this not a holistic measure, as only those who have had their services disconnected are obligated to pay this deposit? The reality, however, is that if people cannot pay their municipal bill, where will they find the money for this deposit?

I think that the municipality must address this deposit issue with all the citizens of this city, in order to educate people on the dangers of not paying for municipal services.

The clause on this R2 000 deposit should stop immediately until all the citizens in this city are educated and made aware of its purpose, because we are still being billed for a reconnection fee.

 

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