No water bills for 5 months

2008-02-03 00:00

Rural residents in the Camperdown area have not received water bills for the past five months because of a failure by the uMgungundlovu Municipality to create and implement a billing system.

Resident Pauline Fraser said she has not received a water bill since September.

"I do not know what is going on. The scary thing is that we do not know how much the municipality is going to demand after all these months of non-payment," she said.

In September, the function of handling the billing of water to clients falling under the jurisdiction of the district was handed over to the district from Umgeni Water.

The district is responsible for ensuring the supply of water to local municipalities under its jurisdiction and for retrieving payment from them for water services.

Mkhambathini municipal manager Deven Pillay said the Camperdown area falls under their jurisdiction, but water and sanitation is a district function.

"We provide bills to residential clients in the Camperdown area, but clients in rural areas are billed by the district following the handover of billing from Umgeni Water."

Umgeni Water spokesman Shami Harichunder said the water authority handled the billing until September, when the "function was transferred to the district and billing data of all the relevant clients was sent to the municipality".

The district was then required to set up a billing system in order to create bills for clients in the database. Sources within the district municipality say that the municipality encountered problems with the company that was to install the system and failed to notify the public affected about the delays.

District manager Monica Mngadi, who was apparently tasked to oversee the implementation of the billing system was unavailable for comment. She is serving her notice after resigning from her job.

When the district’s billing department was contacted an employee said the best advice he could give to consumers who have not received their bills is to pay the average amount that they were previously billed each month.

"This will ensure that clients do not find themselves in huge overwhelming debt," he said.

Councillor Rodger Ashe of the Democratic Alliance said the district’s water problems are directly linked to the financial status of the municipality.

"The district will definitely need to sort out the water problems before the financial issues can be resolved because the retrieving of water revenue has major financial implications for the district," said Ashe.

The district municipality is currently experiencing financial woes, which include the failure to collect R5 million in water revenue from local municipalities.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.