The Democratic Alliance in eThekwini wants eThekwini City Manager, Musa Mbhele, to account for the recent water bill errors.
The DA said councillors were inundated with calls from frustrated residents seeking assistance due to the billing errors.
The DA Councillor Thabani Mthethwa, who is eThekwini’s caucus leader, said there was still an increasing number of ratepayers in eThekwini are still being slapped with bloated incorrect municipal bills.
In December, The Mercury reported that at the heart of the suspected error is that houses valued at more than R250 000 had received free basic water when they were not supposed to.
This has apparently been going on since 2020 and the municipality has now demanded they pay back the money.
According to City spokesperson, Mandla Nsele, customers whose properties fall below R250 000 in value are eligible for 6kl of free water per month.
“However, due to a technical error, about 49,000 out of the billed 514,000 accounts, were credited with the free water and that is what the City will be recovering," he explained.
Last week, the City said residents affected by the technical error, will be required to pay an additional R180 per month on their municipal bill until the debt is paid in full.
Mthethwa said while the billing mess in eThekwini is nothing new, it remains mind-boggling how the city has yet to take the matter seriously and immediately seek a lasting solution.
“eThekwini’s slow pace to action means the number of people being affected is growing each day from the recently recorded close to 50,000,” he said.
Mthethwa said Mbhele should be investigated and held accountable for failing to ensure regular reading of meters.