Electricity to be reconnected at pensioners’ flats

2016-06-16 06:00

A RESIDENT from the pensioner’s flats in Hibiscus Drive, Marburg said she was baffled when she read the article (Pensioners in R800 000 arrears) in last week’s paper.

She said that the very same proposal that the ANC says it has put to the Hibiscus Coast Municipality was actually presented to the municipal manager's office a few years ago, through their ward councillor Ajith Rajaram who is from the DA.

Residents at the flats, of which not all are pensioners, have defaulted in paying their electrical bills over the past five years and they owe HCM R800 000. Some of these bills are said to be inherited from previous tenants.

“The electricity metre box is open without any housing. This was brought to the attention of the municipality and the ward councillor Rajaram. We have also complained about our high electricity accounts,” said the tenant.

“The Speaker along with councillors and an electrician came out and had the metres tested and found 80% percent of them to be faulty. Five years later we still have high bills and faulty meters.”

The tenant said they received statements towards the end of May and contacted Rajaram, who immediately started making calls.

HCM told residents that they had to pay nothing less than R1 500 towards their arrears which they felt was a ridiculous amount as most tenants are pensioners and can barely out food on the table.

Residents received a letter on 30 May notifying them that their electricity will be disconnected that same day. The letter was, however dated 27 May.

Rajaram said he met with the municipal manager, Max Mbili, on Tuesday. Mbili told him that the electricity will be reconnected by Wednesday and that payment negotiations will be done with tenants.

“Some of these people are pensioners and some are indigent. The amounts the municipality is requesting is too high. Meetings will be held with residents to discuss the issue further,” he said.

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