Consumers advised to pay timeously

2017-12-13 06:00

ADISGRUNTLED Boom Street resident contacted Maritzburg Fever last Thursday, December 7, accusing the Msunduzi Municipality of wrongly disconnecting services to their house because of late payment even though their municipal account is up to date.

The resident blamed the municipality’s recently implemented financial system - SAP - for failing to record payments on time and for statements not being sent to his address in the past two months.

The resident also said that at the end of November they were billed twice.

Complaints included that when they went to sort the disconnection­ issue out last Wednesday, it took them several hours to reach the front counter due to queues at the municipality office, describing the scene as “chaotic”.

The Maritzburg Fever contacted municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha who said should consumers not receive statements by the 15th of the month they should visit the offices on 333 Church Street or call the municipality for a copy of the statement.

She said an alternative is for consumers to register email addresses so bills can be sent there.

“Bills are due by the last day, 30th or 31st of each month.

“There is the incorrect perception that leniency­ is granted until the 7th of each month for payments to be made.

“Debtors must allow at least two working days for payments to reflect should they choose to pay via EFT or any third party outlet,” Mafumbatha said.

She said this month the municipality­ began disconnecting services to consumers who were in arrears on Tuesday December 5.

“Debtors who used this so-called seven-day grace period were affected.

“Some had paid on the day the disconnection was carried out via EFT or third-party outlet, others had not yet made their payments, while some claimed not to have received the statement.”

She advised consumers to be read the notice on the utility bill which tells them to make payment before the due date stated on the bill.

“Residents are advised to make their payment timeously and remember there is no policy allowing this so-called grace period of seven days to make payment,” Mafumbatha said.

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