Municipality promises to rectify incorrect water bill for ANC NC chair Zamani Saul

2018-10-01 05:45
Zamani Saul, ANC chairperson in the  Northern Cape. (Gallo Images)

Zamani Saul, ANC chairperson in the Northern Cape. (Gallo Images)

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The Sol Plaatjie municipality says it is will rectify the municipal billing account of ANC Northern Cape provincial chairperson Zamani Saul which shows he owes R145 000.

Saul on Saturday told News24 that he won't be forking out a cent.

According to Saul, the bill from the ANC-led municipality, which has been seen by News24, was incorrectly calculated as it was "estimated".

"I lodged a formal complaint with the municipality about four months back, because it is just impossible that I can be billed about R100 000 for usage of water in one month. It's not right… It's a household of five, and not like it's a business... And I don't think municipality bills are like that," Saul told News24.

He added that the municipality had told him and his wife that the bill was wrong and it would be corrected. He said, however, this had not happened yet.

Paying rates

"I have been bombarding them, sending them emails asking them to correct it... My wife has been going to the financial offices to plead that this be corrected. But with all of that I have never stopped paying my rates," he added.

Saul said the municipality had told him that it estimated his bill, because it could not get access to his meter reading box.

"The municipality said to us that they had made an estimate claiming that they could not get access to the meter reading, but we told them that it was outside the yard and there was no way it could not be reached," he said.

Saul added that they were used to paying almost R6 000 for water and tariffs and would continue to do that. He added that they were using prepaid electricity at his residence.

"I cannot be expected to pay an account of R145 000 which is a wrong account. That is grossly unfair for anybody to expect me to do that," Saul said.

Saul added that his bill had been leaked to the media because of his position as the provincial chairperson.

"They are crazily running around to attack my integrity by leaking the document. But even if I'm the chair, that doesn't place a responsibility of me paying a wrongly billed account," he said.

'They must fix it'

Saul added that even though he was chairperson in the province, he shouldn't be expected to settle the amount, saying: "I am not going to do that!"

"They must fix it and after they have fixed it to our satisfaction, we can sit down with them and then we correct the matter. It's the responsibility of the municipality to keep credible records," he added.

Sol Plaatjie Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie confirmed to News24 on Sunday: "As a municipality, we are on record that there is a billing error regarding the account of our client you referring to."

He said that the matter "should long have been rectified in line with our policy of reviewing an account over a period through proper monitoring of consumption. This matter has been brought to our attention for the past six months and [it is] disgraceful [that it] has not been resolved."

Lawyers involved

The case was currently being handled by Advocate Andries Kloppers from the municipality's Financial Department.

Furthermore, said Matsie: "What is also worrying is the continued circulation of a billing account of our client which seek to embarrass them. The municipality also reserves the right to institute discipline to anyone found to be breaching our code of conduct for purposes of malicious intent."

He said that the municipality wanted to "extend an apology to our client" and that it would ensure the matter was resolved as soon as possible.

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Read more on:    zamani saul  |  kimberley  |  service delivery

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