Charge for electricity boxes

2015-09-29 06:00
Backyard dwellers from Parkwood have mixed feelings after hearing they will have to pay for the installation of their electricity meters. The roll-out of these meters in Parkwood started in June. Pictured is resident Deborah Coll, who received her ne

Backyard dwellers from Parkwood have mixed feelings after hearing they will have to pay for the installation of their electricity meters. The roll-out of these meters in Parkwood started in June. Pictured is resident Deborah Coll, who received her ne

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Backyard dwellers from Parkwood have mixed feelings after being informed that they will have to pay for the installation of electricity meters – a service roll-out that started in June.

In a packed Parkwood community centre on Monday, backyard dwellers were informed that they would be paying R708 for these meters.

Parkwood Backyarders’ Committee chairperson Dominique Booysen says although they were only informed afterwards about the costs, “it is still better to have your own meter and pay for it yourself”.

“We did not know before the time that we would have to pay for the meters and had we known that we could have prepared and either agreed or disagreed with the installation. However, it is better to have our own meters in the backyard as it ensures that conflict between tenants and home backyard dwellers doesn’t occur anymore,” Booy­sen says.

He says backyard dwellers often had confrontations with tenants because “the tenants would cut off electricity supply at times”.

“Now that people have their own meters they do not have to worry that their supply will be cut off. They are responsible for their own electricity accounts and tenants can no longer extort money from backyard dwellers,” he says.

Cape Town is the only city in the country with a programme to provide basic services to backyarder residents on council-owned properties, says mayor Patricia de Lille.

“About 483 families living in backyards in Parkwood are set to benefit from the latest roll-out, which will see the City investing approximately R23.4m for services such as electricity, water and sanitation.

“More than R1.4m will go towards sanitation services, including plumbing and toilet structures, while the bulk of the investment is intended for electricity infrastructure.”

So far, toilet structures have been installed and plumbing services are currently being completed in the Parkwood area

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