Resident fed up with new meter

2012-12-20 00:00

AN Acacia Park resident has found out the hard way that pre-paid meters are not the panacea for cutting costs that they are made out to be.

Ruth Modipa has had endless fights with the Msunduzi housing department, which runs Acacia Park, since a prepared water meter was installed in her unit at the beginning of the month.

Modipa received a letter from Msunduzi housing to say that a pre-paid water meter was to be installed for her flat. She found the meter installed when she arrived home from work the next day. She rushed out to buy R100 worth of water, but was shocked to discover it had all been used up by the next morning.

She went to Msunduzi housing to find out who was consuming her water overnight, and to complain about the meter being installed without consultation.

She said she was told by an employee that as the landlord, Msunduzi housing could do whatever they wanted.

Ivor Caldecott, Msunduzi housing CEO, apologised, saying: “As a gesture of good faith, we will credit her account with 10 kilolitres of free water, which she can use for the month until she gets accustomed with the system.”

Caldecott said pre-paid water meters would be installed throughout the complex.

He said the fact that Modipa’s R100 water token was used up overnight showed that there were leaks in the pipe. “The sad thing is that the leak was probably costing her a fortune on her municipal account … I am sure that once it is sorted, all will run smoothly.”

Caldecott offered to talk to Modipa, who wanted the meter removed altogether.

“I can’t remove it at this early stage, but I can certainly compensate her for any losses. She will definitely not be out of pocket. I will see to that myself,” he promised.

However, when The Witness visited Modipa on Tuesday last week, she was still unhappy. Her pre-paid meter was still running even though all her taps were turned off.

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