Msunduzi mum as electricity billing bungles pile up

2019-11-21 16:10
Northdale pensioner Perumal Pillay has been receiving inflated electricity bills from Msunduzi since the City installed a new electricity meter at his house. PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane

Northdale pensioner Perumal Pillay has been receiving inflated electricity bills from Msunduzi since the City installed a new electricity meter at his house. PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane

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A Prestbury man says he has been threatened with an electricity disconnection despite Msunduzi billing him with his home’s previous owner’s details.

Pieter van Straaten says he cannot work out how a house occupied by two people who are hardly ever at home could have an outstanding balance of just over R22 000.

Van Straaten’s house, where he has lived since March last year, was nearly disconnected on Tuesday, but his local councillor intervened. Those doing the disconnection told him they would be back if he still had an outstanding balance next week.

But he said he has received no joy from Msunduzi in his various attempts to rectify his bills and to try to ascertain the correct amount he owes.

Van Straaten believes he has been paying his instalments for electricity into the accounts of two previous owners instead of his own, saying that the account number on his bills changes regularly.

He said his bills were seen to fluctuate depending on the month, and somehow dropped from R45 000 to R22 000 between last month and this month.

“I am hardly ever at home and my partner travels for work. I don’t know how we can have monthly electricity bills of R4 500.”

Van Straaten said he will be going to meet with the City’s billing department on Friday to try to resolve the issue, and fears he could be disconnected next week having to foot a huge bill. He said several e-mails to the City about his issue went unanswered.

In another billing mess, 92-year-old Northdale pensioner Perumal Pillay said his electricity bill shot up after Msunduzi installed a new electricity meter.

Pillay, who used to pay between R600 and R800, now owes the City more than R14 000. He suspects he is somehow being charged for the new and old meters, and that he may be the victim of an illegal electricity connection.

“I called an electrician who had a look and said the wires looked loose. He said the municipality is probably charging me for two meters.”

He said he is concerned he may be disconnected and is unable to pay the full amount. “How will I pay that? I live alone, so how could I possibly have such a high bill?”

He said he has been paying R1 000 a month to Msunduzi as an estimate of how much he really owes.

Msunduzi was sent a query about both issues but did not respond.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality
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