Consumers shocked at high meter readings

2015-09-23 06:00

A NUMBER of electricity consumers have expressed shock at the exceptionally high bills received for electricity usage in August. Many said they would have difficulty in paying as they had not budgeted for increased amounts . The Greytown Gazette approached Umvoti Municipality requesting an explanation, and the following reply was received from the acting Chief Financial Officer, Sphindile Ngiba:

“The general anomalies in the consumer accounts have been a result of a recent change in the financial system, a process which is normally not without data migration challenges. We are currently engaged in the process of conducting a due diligence exercise which will assist in identifying any abnormalities in the debtors book. “This process will entail a re-conciliation of all data from the old financial system with the new financial system to ensure accuracy. “We sincerely appeal to our ratepayers to bear with us during this process, however, in the event that this exercise results in any unforeseen interference with the individual consumer accounts , our ratepayers are encouraged to directly contact our consumer departments for any clarity on any queries which may arise.

“Specifically, with regards to your inquiry on the extremely high electricity account during the month of August, upon doing an internal investigation I have managed ascertain that abnormalities arose as a result of the change in the meter-reading system, which had been previously manual and was upgraded to an electronic hand-held device, however, various challenges were subsequently experienced with this meter-reading system which led to some discrepancies when capturing actual meter readings for the month of August­, resulting in consumers being under-billed in the month of July. “In an effort to assist consumers who are unable to pay their accounts in full as a result of this unforeseen abnormality, our ratepayers are encouraged to directly­ contact our consumer department to make payment arrangements as well as for any clarity on any queries which may have arisen.”

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