Tenants of Xanadu complex in Windsor East, in the north of Johannesburg, have been left dry after the body corporate allegedly introduced a new water billing system without consulting them or the owners.
According to some of the owners, the Xanadu body corporate, the prepaid water system was not working in their favour as they found themselves allegedly paying between R150 and R200 for prepaid water tokens a day.
This prepaid system means that the consumer purchases water credit in the form of a water token. When entered in the user interface unit (located in the consumer’s home), the token instructs the water management device to allow a certain amount of water through the meter before closing.
Henry Mhlongo, the owner of one of the units in the complex, said he had bought a R450 water voucher which only lasted for eight days.
Another tenant, Thamsanqa Moyo, said he had spent R400 for prepaid water tokens, which only lasted for five days.
“I don’t understand this new billing because I am always at work, and I only get home very late at night. The least they could have done was to consult us and explain how this billing works. How are we now paying so much for water?” he asked.
Another resident, who asked not to be identified, said she had spent R150 which lasted her for four days.
Some tenants said they were told that the reason for changing to prepaid was that other landlords were allegedly not paying levies for the building, so it might be that, when buying water, they deduct some percentage because they were owing.
When contacted for comment, Mgxashe said, as the trustees, they had no contracts with the tenants and most of them were not complying with the rules of the body corporate. He then asked this newspaper to send an email to share with other trustees so that they could respond if there was a need.
“The crisp answer [is that] the tenants and the landlord of one of your sources were shown proof of communication. The landlord was also copied same in the AGM minutes of 2021, and she apologised for not sharing with her tenant as she is bad with reading the emails.
“We made a courtesy later and informed the tenant this year. The essence of changing to prepaid water metering is motivated by the fact that we are tired of subsidising the tenants who are in breach with our insurance policy as a result of overcrowding and exposing us to the COJ,” he responded.