Municipality error leads to exorbitant bill

2017-12-20 06:01
Peter Makomba has to foot the exorbitant municipal bill even though the municipality made the error.PHOTO: makhosandile zulu

Peter Makomba has to foot the exorbitant municipal bill even though the municipality made the error.PHOTO: makhosandile zulu

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PETER Makomba, a Boom Street resident, says an error by the municipality has resulted in him having to pay an exorbitant amount for his municipal bill

He says he was told by municipal officials that the error that was from July 2008 to July 2015 was because municipal workers were only reading five digits on the meter instead of six.

Makomba said from the time he began living at the address he’s kept his account up to date.

“They ended up calling me a loyal payer, however, all of a sudden in July 2015, they sent me a statement stating that I owe them R84 000 in arrears,” he said.

Makomba queried the amount because he always paid his bill.

“They said they had been billing me in ‘short digits’.”

Makomba read from a note written by a municipality employee on the back of his statement.

“Readings shortfall, charged five digits instead of six digits for 78 months backdated­ July 2008.”

He asked municipality officials, when he went to query the amount, why they had not rectified the reading error for this period of time.

“But they said I must pay the bill, yet it wasn’t my mistake, it was their mistake. However, what they billed me I did pay and continue to pay what they bill me, but they want me to pay for their mistake,” he said.

Makomba said since being notified about the R84 000 his electricity and water have been disconnected several times at his residence with the recent one being in November.“When I queried the R84 000 they said they are going to discount me 50%. Then I said ‘no’ it should be 100% because it is not my mistake.”

However, he said his request was rejected and he has to pay the 50% discounted figure.He said he does not even want to take advantage of the Black Month debt collection initiative by the municipality.

The initiative runs from December 4 to January 4, 2018 with a discount of 50% on domestic­ services charges outstanding as at June 30.As of October 30, R35 061.80 is owed to the municipality by the said property. Municipal spokesperson, Thobeka Mafumbatha, did not respond at the time of going to press.

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