Durban – BLUFF residents are at their wits’ end with the eThekwini Municipality water and electricity billing system as they have reportedly experienced higher bills than usual.
A point of contention for residents has been around estimated readings reportedly used to determine their bills.
They feel the estimations are inaccurate and have appealed to the municipality to address the issue. Allison Roberts said she had been paying R5 000 for electricity, but her most recent bill was R13 000.
“You can’t make an estimation of how much electricity or water a person is using, estimating is just playing a guessing game and a bill can only be determined through accurate meter readings. How can a bill which has been the same suddenly jump to R13 000? That’s not right,” said Roberts.
“At my house we cook with a gas stove, we switch off our geyser and nobody is home all day so this comes as a surprise. We’ve had enough.
“People don’t have money, they don’t have jobs and with the little we have, we’re now forced to choose between buying essentials or having our lights or water cut off.”
Bluff Ratepayers Association chairperson Ivor Aylward called for a review of the municipality’s operations and for more accountability. “Meters need to be checked on a monthly basis,” he said.
Resident Riaan Pretorius said his bill had increased to the point he had to make alternative means to avoid disconnection.
EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said: “Estimates are allowed by council by-laws and the accuracy is as good as the consumption pattern of a customer, provided that there are no water leaks.”
He said the City was “in the process of monthly readings”.