Water service delivery in eThekwini Municipality has another thorn in its side, as the City announced this week that its mobile application is down and unable to record water and electricity meter readings.
The municipality said its e-services platform was experiencing technical issues.
While the mobile application is down, eThekwini suggested ratepayers visit the Sizakala Customer Care centres for help.
“EThekwini Municipality wishes to advise the public that our e-Services system is currently experiencing technical issues, preventing eThekwini App users from recording electricity and water readings and linking them to registered accounts.
“Our technical teams are investigating the matter in order to restore full functionality to our e-Services system,” eThekwini Municipality said.
In October last year, IOL (hyperlink if possible please) previously reported on how thousands of water meters in the metro went unread because the City's contract with its service provider had expired.
For more than six months, the Municipality used estimates to determine the water utility bills.
This bill previously came in a subdivided format, with electricity and water separate but the municipality changed the structure so both utilities can reflect in an amalgamated bill.
The eThekwini Ratepayers Protest Movement (ERPM) told IOL that they have complaints from residents who claim their water bills were not read for over a year, and 18 months in some extreme cases.
Municipal spokesperson Gugu Sisilana told the Mercury last year about the expired water meter reading contract and said that residents received bills based on the three previous months readings.
During a meeting with eThekwini’s Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in January, the ERPM raised the issue of the City’s failure to read meters and thereby unjustifiably dishing out large utility bills.
ERPM Chairperson Asad Gaffer challenged DWS’s Ian Govender, who heads up the business unit, on how inaccurately the municipality charges for water but to no avail.
Gaffer also told Govender that when ratepayers submitted their own meter readings, they were rejected, to which he replied by saying he would “look into it”.
Govender indicated that the new contractor would begin reading meters again “soon”.