New billing system sparks public outrage and concern

2017-03-09 06:00

HUNDREDS of community members gathered at the V. Moonsamy Hall in Tongaat recently to voice their concerns over the new billing system, which has some residents hot under the collar.

Residents complained about excessive figures reflected on their water and electricity accounts. The new billing system took effect in July last year and since then, residents have complained about the exorbitant sums reflected on their bills.

Chairperson of the Belvedere Civic Association Reuben Govender told the Weekly: “The new system is affecting the residents badly. At a recent meeting in Tongaat, it emerged that meters are not being read and in the fifth month the bill reflects an exorbitant amount. There is a pensioner from eMona who used to pay R160 a month and after a few months the bill said her account is in arrears of over R10 000.

“At the meeting we anticipated answers, only to find out that the officials present did not have any knowledge about the new billing system. For the past five months my meter has never been read. The system was implemented last year.”

Govender added that low-income households are most affected.

“The poor people in Tongaat are affected. We understand tariff increases but the municipality should not rob the poor.”

eThekwini Municipality urged residents to approach the relevant departments should they have any queries relating to their bills.

In a statement sent to the media, the municipality said: “The city urges customers [residents] who may have received an unusually high bill to contact the city directly via the Revline call centre, the nearest customer care centre or Sizakala Centre.

“Customers should note that the city will not disclose any information concerning customers’ bills with a third party. The city wishes to assure customers that the Revenue Management System was fully tested and audited, including its capability and accuracy, prior to being implemented.”

The municipality also urged residents to check their readings in comparison with previous bills to determine the accuracy of the amount charged.

“If there is high water consumption, customers should check for a possible water leak. Meters can also be tested at the customer’s request.”

The public is urged to send electricity meter readings to custocare@elec.durban.gov.za or phone 080 131 3011 or SMS 083 700 0819.

For all other billing queries, residents can e-mail revline@durban.gov.za or phone 031 324 5000.


 

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