Metro committed to

2017-11-01 06:00

The cash-strapped Mangaung Metro Municipality is proceeding with the installation of prepaid water meters, having already installed 13 728 to date. Meters are installed at households with approval by the owners.

Qondile Khedama, spokesperson, said the Mangaung council took the decision to install prepaid water meters after complaints by residents over the inaccurate billing of their accounts and the council’s poor revenue collection.

The cash-strapped municipality’s decision is motivated by three ideals: to achieve accurate water billing, to enhance revenue collection and to better debt collection.

“We would like to reiterate to residents that the Mangaung Municipality’s aim to install prepaid water meters is to assist the municipality in its revenue enhancement and debt collection initiatives,” Khedama said.

“We have been inundated by complaints of residents, as well as businesses, in Mangaung regarding inaccurate water bills. The prepaid water project is being accelerated to ensure that water users are able to regulate usage.”

He said the remaining conventional water meters were being read monthly by meter readers with electronic devices.

“The readings include part of the monthly statements sent to residents.”

Pertaining to indigent households, he said the municipality had the right to install prepaid water meters at all indigent households.

“This is undertaken in line with the municipality’s policy. Prepaid water meters will limit the water consumption for indigents to 330 litres (or 0.33 kiloliters) per day.

If the consumption (330 litres) is exceeded, the consumer will be required to purchase additional water.

“The meters are also able to monitor leakages and other technical problems. This will assist in decreasing water losses and increase the monitoring of the meters to enhance value to the reticulation.”

Khedama said prior to the installation, public participation processes were undertaken in the areas earmarked for the project.

“In ward councillors’ meetings with residents, the advantages, impact and value of prepaid water meters were discussed. This was undertaken as part of the annual public participation process before the annual budget was approved.”

He said to intensify the process to install prepaid meters, roadshows were held in the wards. He said residents who had missed out on deadline applications would pay R762, including VAT.

“Residents who were unavailable during ward roadshows are able to apply for installation. Those installations will be free if it is done within the timelines as stipulated in the information letter as provided through the roadshows.

“Deadlines are also communicated through the ward meetings.”

Residents in the area of the project plan of the municipa­lity must complete consent forms and submit these through the contact sessions.

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