‘Flawed’ water bills infuriate residents

2017-01-26 06:02
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UGU Ugu District Municipality customers are convinced their billing system is flawed, this after­ receiving hefty bills for December.

These bills amount to thousands and since e-mails and phone calls to the municipality’s offices have gone unanswered, it has sent them into a panic and a state of bafflement, not knowing what to do next.

One thing is for sure, none of them will pay these bills until substantial proof of water usage is produced by the municipality as they are certainly “not going to pay for a service they did not utilise.”

Another thing that has confused customers is that they still got slapped with these bills despite the frequent water interruptions last year. Some areas were left without water for 18 days.

SH Groenswald of Oslo Beach has been fighting this battle since October 2016.

“I was charged R6 000 in October 2016. I e-mailed and visited the Ugu offices in Oslo Beach and the matter has still not been resolved,” he said.

When he visited the offices in Oslo Beach, he was presented with another “flawed” bill of R2 500.

“Ugu now refuses to engage with the me on the matter. No replies to e-mails at all.

Nobody calls back and a visit to the municipal manager's office has resulted in nothing,” he said.

Customers who complained on the Ugu Complaints Facebook page say they didn’t receive their bills for December, but at the beginning of the year got smacked with a bill of a few thousands.

Steven Thomas said he has been charged an extra R50 on his bill for two kilolitres of water, which he claims he does not use.

“The reading will not change as I very rarely use municipal water. I have my own renewable supply,” said Thomas.

France Zama, spokesperson for Ugu said the municipality is in the process of establishing details in this regard through internal investigations.

“Once this process has been concluded and if it is found that there is an error with our billing system, necessary corrective measures will be implemented.

“We urge customers to bear with us while we work towards ensuring that our billing system is factual and coincides with customers’ monthly use of municipal services,” he added.

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