R270 000 water bill

2017-03-01 09:02
Copesville resident Anita Rajbally looks over the municipal accounts that have reached more than R200?000 believed to be caused by an error on the system.

Copesville resident Anita Rajbally looks over the municipal accounts that have reached more than R200?000 believed to be caused by an error on the system. (Ian Carbutt)

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A Copesville man is afraid he will be forced to pay more than R200 000 to the municipality following an “error” on his water account.

Rabichand Rajbally is still awaiting answers from the municipality after his bill skyrocketed to R177 000 in September last year.

Rajbally, who lives with his wife, said their average utility bill was about R2 000 a month. In September he was shocked when he received his municipal account.

“Since then, we have been running around back and forth and now the bill is sitting at R269 979,96 in total,” he said.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha did not respond to questions by the time of going to print.

Rajbally said he believed the error in his account was linked to a recent theft.

He said his water meter was stolen in June last year when the theft of water meters was rife in Copesville.

In July last year, The Witness reported that the municipality had to cut off the main feed of water into the suburb, where the theft and vandalism of water infrastructure was described as “out of control”. Irate residents described their community as a “water theft haven”, saying the theft of meters from just outside their properties was destroying their lives.

Msunduzi plumbers who were trying to fix the leaks were being threatened by thugs and the municipality had to get security to escort them back into the parched suburb after plumbers’ lives were threatened by water meter thieves.

Rajbally said his house was one of the many plagued by water meter thieves.

Rajbally’s water meter was replaced with a plastic, non-valuable water meter by the municipality but “not without a huge amount of water being lost”.

“Now we just don’t know what to do because we have been pushed from pillar to post in the municipality and still no one can help us.

“We are just very worried that they [the municipality] will tell us that we need to pay that entire amount and we obviously do not have that kind of money to spare,” he said.

Read more on:    msunduzi municipality  |  pietermaritzburg

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