Shocking news on municipal electricity domestic tariffs

2018-09-26 06:02

IN a front page article in last week’s Greytown Gazette, residents were urged to check their electricity accounts as a number of complaints had been received as to the accuracy of totals etc.

But, apologies from the editor, — that was not quite correct. Residents however, must definitely check their accounts in terms of the following comments received from a very alert and concerned ratepayer.

“Please be advised that I disagree with your article as I have verified the tariffs as advertised on the Umvoti municipal website and as advertised in the Greytown Gazette dated June 13, 2018.

“In your article you advise that the tariff for domestic usage one is R1.3 per unit. According to the public notice it is 137 per unit. Is this rand or cents as domestic two is set out as R1.74.

“This means that Umvoti Municipality has undercharged the consumer as reported in the Gazette.

“Taking the exact example, the consumer should be paying R142 069.00 excluding vat. (1037 X 137).

“Looking at the property rates tariff, according to ratepayers’ accounts issued, the tariff reads 0.0175 but in terms of the advertisement the tariff is 1.75 cents in the rand. What this in fact means is that the municipality has approved tariffs way above inflation and the National Treasury guidelines.

“The question to be asked is what is correct as the tariffs which were published actually were presented to council and were approved as such.

“The question that arises is was this disclosed to any organ of state, such as provincial Treasary, Cogta or any other department as stipulated in law?

“If not, that could be the reason why ratepayers and residents are being kept in the dark.

“Umvoti ratepayers should be aware that according to the tariffs which have been approved by Umvoti council and what you are being charged shows a vast discrepancy and the municipality has the right to recover the undercharges!”

In terms of the various acts, councils are permitted to set tariffs only once in a financial year, meaning that they have to charge ratepayers what they have approved.

Umvoti management might try to argue that it was a human error in publishing the wrong tariff.

The onus then rests on council to prove what was presented to them — according to facts the published tariffs appeared in the agenda that they approved.

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