Outcry over spike in residents’ water bills

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HAVEN Hills residents in Buffalo City are confused as to whether the new water meters that were recently installed by the municipality have anything to do with abnormal water bills they have to pay.

WHY US?: Buffalo City residents are up-in-arms over the sudden spike in water bills and blame it on new meter systems installed in the area recently. Resident, Marietta Williams shows a leaking meter which is like those replaced in some areas Picture: DAILY DISPATCH FILE/ALAN EASON

Residents say they were not even informed by the municipality that there would be new meters installed last year. When a Haven Hills resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, received her bill for this month, it was double what she normally paid.

“In November she paid R1187.33 and in December R1142.66. My husband visited the municipality with no joy, and I logged a complaint telephonically. I also sent them an e-mail with the October, November and December bills, so they could see the difference. We paid the full amount of R3 000 for the water bill alone because we did not want to be disconnected,” said the disgruntled ratepayer.

She said she would actually like to know what the average household in Haven Hills paid for water because besides these exorbitant water accounts, they still had to purchase electricity of between R1500 and R2000 per month.

In a letter written by Kathy Wegner to the GO! last week she indicated that her meter was also changed in October when there was seemingly nothing wrong with it.

“I had reported that there was no tap head in the meter box, but nothing was wrong with the meter,” she wrote.

“Every month I take my water reading and e-mail it through to BCMM.

“Whoever changed this meter has not sent through all the relevant information to the capture department. No one answers the phone. In the meantime, I am being charged an interim reading which is higher than what we are consuming,” wrote Wegner.

Haven Hills’s Suzie Pillay said it would be helpful if the municipality answered their phones.

“I can’t be paying double what I am used to. Just in December, I paid R 1578, but now the bill has doubled. How did we get there?”.

BCMM spokesperson, Sibusiso Cindi acknowledged receipt of an e-mail sent to him, but was unable to respond before going to print.

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