Confusion as mud house owner is slapped with a R220K utility bill

2018-07-02 16:00
Sobantu resident Nomusa Ngcobo stands in front of her mud house on which Msunduzi Municipality has served a R220?000 utilities bill.

Sobantu resident Nomusa Ngcobo stands in front of her mud house on which Msunduzi Municipality has served a R220?000 utilities bill. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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The Msunduzi Municipality has served a utility bill of R220 000 on the owners of a dilapidated mud house in Sobantu.

The listed property owner, Cynthia Zondi, said the property was still under her name even though she sold it to the Ngcobo family in 1999.

“I sold the site but we just all forgot to transfer the ownership so it’s still under my name.”

She said after receiving the massive bill, she visited the site and found that the daughter of the woman who she had sold the house to was still living there.

She said the family use prepaid electricity and claimed that someone comes every month to read the water meter.

Zondi said she visited the AS Chetty municipal building and spoke to someone from the electricity department, who she said was “very rude and not helpful”.

“No one could explain the bill to me or print out the bill in detail. I was told that my file was at the attorney’s office but when I went there I was referred back to the municipality.”

She said when she further inquired about the property, a municipal official told her the R220 000 bill was from 2004, when a house was erected on the site, until today.

“I was told that the utility bill for that property should vary around R100 per month and if my calculations are right the bill to date should be around R16 000, nothing over R20 000. So I don’t understand how it got to the R220 000, it just makes no sense,” she said.

“I feel like the City is just abusing us by charging us extremely high bills. The property on that site was never evaluated but there is a R952,50 fee on the bill for assessment rate, so I really don’t understand how the City is charging such bills,” said Zondi.

Nomusa Ngcobo, who owns the house, said she too failed to understand how the City could charge them so much for their house. “I hope the municipality could scrap the R220 000 bill so that we are able to transfer the ownership to us and be able to pay reasonable utility bills like everyone else,” said Ngcobo.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha asked for the account number on Thursday regarding the matter but failed to give comment by the time of going to print.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  utility bills

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