This water better taste like gold...

The R25 000 water bill a woman received recently is peanuts.

So says Innike Rajput, of Bloubosrand, Randburg, who says she received a R117 500 bill, which no one at Joburg Water "seems to think is a bit extreme".

Rajput says she has been desperately trying to sort out the account and is afraid she will be cut off for a third time, as the city's revenue department appears to be ignoring her pleas to rectify the account.

"This is all due to incorrect water billings. We had an issue in March last year, where suddenly R2 531,57 was billed for a new water meter. I asked that this be investigated and the city explained that the reading on the previous meter got transferred to the new one, despite my having paid the old one to date.

"We did not receive a credit note for this double billing of the same reading on the new and old meter."

In January, Rajput received a note from the council saying there was a discrepancy on her account, and that they were withholding it.

"When I did receive it, to my surprise, there was suddenly a bill for R117 494,65.

"I contacted the customer services department, who said it was a correction due to interim readings on my account since the new water meter was installed."

Peter Shaw received a bill for R83 500 for water in November last year. His average consumption was about R2 000 for his Morningside, Sandton, home.

"When I phoned to complain, they said there was no mistake and that I should simply pay. I have had a plumber out who has verified that there is no leak on the property but I still cannot get the amount reversed," Shaw said.

Paddy Keegan, too, is frustrated. He says he was amused to see the R25 000 water bill reported in The Star last week.

"I received a R46 000 water bill in October last year. I am still fighting the case and have got the Democratic Alliance involved to try to help resolve it," Keegan said.

Heidi Parker is yet another Joburg resident battling with a water bill. She said that in July last year, she received a R69 000 bill for water.

"The meter was misread, Joburg Water adjusted the amount but then switched the meters with my neighbour's, thus still leaving me an amount of R11 000.

"I saw someone in Loveday Street who clearly pointed out that there was a typing error in the meter number. The meters were duplicated, and I was thus being double-charged.

"I am frustrated beyond belief. I have spent many hours on the phone since July, and fear that this will not be rectified in my favour," she said.

Mandy Jean Woods, spokesperson for the City of Joburg revenue department, said she could not comment on the accounts because a full investigation would have to be done on them.