Pretoria - The City of Tshwane has been flooding rate-paying residents with inaccurate municipal bills for years due to erroneous billing estimates but they still have not resolved the problem.
Tshwane ActionSA mayoral candidate Abel Tau made this claim while leading a demonstration at Tshwane House demanding that the City "solve the billing crisis" that persists.
Tau accused mayor Randall Williams and his administration of bankrupting the City, taking it to junk status and now trying to bill residents to foot the City's salary bill.
He said: "The ghost mayor has decided that the only way he is going to get around this situation was to steal from the people of Tshwane and this way he can say he has clawed back some of the deficit.
"This City is not doing accurate billing because there are no meter readers who go out and do actual meter reading. In some instances they have been estimating for more than a year, but that is not allowed by law.
"We have sampled about 30 bills totalling about R1 million that the City is basically stealing from the people of Tshwane. I have one bill worth R366 779 and these residents say they have been to every customer service office you can think of but they have not been receiving any assistance whatsoever.
Tau said they were going to take the bills to the City to resolve and if not they would institute legal action to follow in the footsteps of the people from Mabopane and Winterveld who are taking the City to court over erroneous bills.
However, City Chief of Staff Jordan Griffiths said ActionSA did not submit any application to the City on this matter.
He said: "The City has significantly improved billing from what we received from the administrators. By October last year, only 25% of meters were being read, we have increased this to 79%.
"We have also rolled out numerous virtual consultation sessions with clients where there has been significant interest from residents.
"Since October last year, billing complaints have declined significantly. I would encourage that instead of cheap politicking, that ActionSA merely joins one of the many virtual consultation sessions that the City has scheduled to assist them. The City is very proud of the work being done in these sessions."
Griffiths said, in fact, the City has 3.3 million residents, bills hundreds of thousands of residents and does so accurately.
"If ActionSA has 30 bills they are disputing, they are most welcome to join one of our many consultation sessions with our finance teams who can support in working through their complaints," he added.
Griffiths said Tau and his party like to play politics with people's real problems and he should answer why he was not seeing and solving these problems when he was an MMC in Tshwane.