Ugu bills soar: Pensioner’s account up from R600 to R6?000

2011-11-21 00:00

UGU residents are up in arms about their recent water bills. According to residents, their bills have more than tripled over the last few months.

Collin Wood from Melville said that his bill generally comes to around R130, but his September and October bills came to over R900 each.

“I cannot understand why my bill has increased so much. My usage has remained the same.

“I’ve had no visitors or had no building done on my property for my account to be so much higher.”

Wood took his complaints to the Ugu office in Oslo Beach.

“After going through my account they indicated that there was an error on my bill and it will be rectified.

“I have to wait for my next bill to see if this has been done,” he said.

Alison Hartley also went to the Oslo beach office to query the statement her senior citizen neighbour received.

“My neighbour is a pensioner and she lives alone. Her bill which normally comes to around R600 rocketed to R6 000.

“Where does a pensioner get R6 000 to pay for a bill that she is not even responsible for?”

Hartley says while she was at the Ugu offices, a number of other people were also there to query irregularities on their bills.

“There was one person with a bill for R27 000! It is just ridiculous.”

Hartley says that an employee from Ugu allegedly stated that the amounts on residents’ bills were not a mistake but “deliberate”.

“I don’t want to get the employee in trouble, but the person did say that the amounts were deliberate and that the offices are busy the entire day with residents’ querying the high amounts.”

A councillor for the Margate area, George Henderson, said he has received well over a hundred complaints in the last week.

“Residents from all over the lower South Coast have been calling me complaining about the irregularities on their bills.”

Henderson is compiling a database of the complaints he has received and trying to assist residents with sorting out their bills.

“I am going to get to the bottom of this problem,” he said.

Many residents believe that they are now paying the cost for Ugu’s current financial straits.

A few months ago the municipality had indicated that it is facing financial challenges.

They are awaiting a report from the Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department (Cogta), who are reviewing the municipality’s financial position.

Spokesperson for Ugu Lindani Mzotho said they have 40 000 bills sent out every month and confirmed that some consumers are complaining about inflated bills.

“It is difficult to determine whether these relate to annual water rates bills which we sent out recently.

“If that is there case, then we are aware of 1 047 accounts that may need to be re-sent.

“There will be a press notice for the public in this regard which will be published next week.”

He added that ratepayers and consumers with queries could visit the office of the manager: customer relations, Zimbini Ntlangula, for assistance.

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