Residents get shocking bills

2019-06-13 06:00
Funeka Sonqwelo (red jacket) standing in front of her shack while Noyamile Boyce is looking aside.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

Funeka Sonqwelo (red jacket) standing in front of her shack while Noyamile Boyce is looking aside.PHOTOS: UNATHI OBOSE

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A Nyanga woman, Funeka Sonqwelo, is hopping mad and is demanding answers after the City of Cape Town sent a water bill of more than R15 000.

She describes the bill as “blatant robbery” as she does not have water supply to her house. The 70-year-old shares a communal tap and toilet with other Mkhonto Square residents.

“I don’t know where the bill comes from because I use a communal tap,” says Sonqwelo, adding that she moved into the area in 2007 and is yet to get a house and all the municipal services. “I don’t have a house. I’m using a temporal toilet (mshengu) which is outside my property,” she said.

Sonqwelo is among a group of residents that stays in the shacks. They are waiting for their houses to be built and the bill came as a massive surprise.

Her plot has an electricity meter box. “We arrived here in 2007 coming from the squatter camps here in Mkhonto. But till today we don’t have flushing toilets and taps,” she said.

She added that in 2014 the City gave them title deeds.

Sonqwelo added that she raised the matter with the local committee as well as the councillor, but nothing has been done.

She vowed not to pay the money and called on the City to come up with answers.

Community leader Noyamile Boyce said they intend to go to the Human Settlements Department to raise their grievances.

She said the area has 304 plots, but has less than 60 brick houses.

She said some people have died before receiving their houses.

Boyce said there are many other people who have a similar problem.

She accused local councillor, Luyanda Nyingwa, failing to deal with their challenges and claims he only helps certain individuals.

Nyingwa confirmed that he knows about the problem. “We will engage the City and request them to scrape off all the water bills from people who don’t have taps,” he said. He said the City is currently installing water infrastructure and flushing toilets in that area.

“During 2007 when people were supposed to be relocated to their sites there was conflict between Maumau backyard and shack dwellers from Mkhonto. Because backyard dwellers were also demanding the houses,” he said adding that they resolved the problem.

Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg said the City has investigated and found that a water account was created for this resident in anticipation of a housing development or informal settlement upgrade.

“This project has not proceeded and as such, the City can confirm that the resident will not have to pay this bill,” said Limberg.

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