Year-long struggle with power bill

2019-03-27 06:00
PHOTO: byrone athmanOne of the bills from the municipality that Yolande Villa has scrutinised and in which she picked up errors.

PHOTO: byrone athmanOne of the bills from the municipality that Yolande Villa has scrutinised and in which she picked up errors.

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A YEAR-LONG struggle with the municipality over an ever-increasing electricity bill has left pensioner Phyllis Nel (79) enraged and at a loss, as the municipality refuses to budge and acknowledge the alleged discrepancies.

Speaking on behalf of Nel, her daughter-in-law Yolande Villa said that her mother-in-law’s electric bill for the last year has reflected outrageous amounts for a household that only keeps a fan and television on for the most part of the day.

“Amounts of R5 000 to R6 000 in some months seem ridiculous as we do not use a lot of electricity.

“When we went to the municipality to question the bill that keeps accumulating we were told in a very hostile way to pay the bill.

“We make our payments every month and yet the amount keeps on accumulating,” said Villa who said that the bill now stands at around R15 000, even though they have been paying the normal amount that they are used to, which is around R1 000 every month.

Villa said that their lights were cut recently but they have since been able to reconnect the power.

Nel said that she is on a grant and recently applied for the indigent rebate but has yet to hear anything on the status of her application.

“I am a pensioner and still have not been granted the indigent rebate. I do not know how they can justify my electric bill and how they expect me to be able to pay such an obscene amount,” said Nel, who is fearful of being left in the dark.

Villa said that they have not missed a single month when it comes to paying their lights and that they are being targeted by the municipality, which has not done a proper meter reading in a very long time. “We just want them to sort this out and hopefully install a prepaid meter in our house so that we can be rid of this problem,” said Villa.

Nel has also requested multiple times that she have a prepaid metre installed to no avail.

When asked for comment, municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said that Villa had met with a municipal staff member who explained that the account billing was 100% correct upon which Villa raised concerns that someone else could possibly be using their electricity.

“Without any proof we cannot verify this and now that she has not got her desired answer she has decided to refer matters to the media,” said Mafumbatha.

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