Pensioner in shock over R600 000 water bill

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Dec 7, 2018

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Cape Town – An Elsies River pensioner says he nearly had a heart attack when he saw his water bill was R600 000.

Desmond Smith, 65, from Halt Road says since last month he has been running around the local municipal offices trying to find out why he received such a huge bill.

He says it appears he was sent someone else’s bill as the address on the document is not his, but when he tried to tell officials this, they shut him down.

“I have gone to find out what is going on. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw the water bill on November 13 of R604 013.74.

“I went and told the woman at the (municipal offices) counter that the address is wrong. She told me it could not be, as I am the only one who could change my address,” Desmond explains.

The Daily Voice has seen the bill and the billing address does not correspond with the postal address.

“How could we use so much water? We are only four in the household. I do not even use tap water, we buy bottled water.

“If we use 300 litres of water for the week it would be too much,” Desmond says angrily.

He says he has also been told by City officials that the reason for the high bill could be the “fact” that he had installed three new water meters over the past 15 years.

“They have so many incompetent people working for the City,” he said.

“They are telling me new water meters were installed in 2003, 2013 and March this year. But I still have the old brass water meter.

“Our yard’s paving was laid 15 years ago and never has it been lifted. The other address on here (the bill) is a larger property with a wendy house at the back, as far as I could see from the road.

“But these incompetents are rather just telling me to keep on paying.”

Xanthea Limberg, Mayoral Committee Member for Informal Settlements; Water and Waste Services; and Energy, says: “We are currently investigating this enquiry and will be conducting a site investigation at the property.

“The City’s chief water meter reader will confirm which meter supplies which property and will also verify the house numbers. The City will be in contact with the resident to communicate the findings.”

Daily Voice

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