Pretoria - Billing estimates, that may have been significantly low, result in disputes when residents finally receive a higher bill from an actual meter reading.
City chief of staff Jordan Griffiths said Tshwane did not have a billing crisis – despite some complaints and protests by residents. “Some residents may have been receiving lower bills due to estimates, which left them with a significantly higher bill when the City finally did an actual meter reading.
“A lot of people dispute their bills because, for months, they have received estimates. Maybe their bills were very low, but then the City did an actual reading and the reading may have tripled their bill.
“On your Tshwane bill, you can see if a reading was done or if it was an estimate. The bill shows the date of the first reading and the date of the more recent reading – the exact period being corrected. It is true, estimates can cause conflict. That is why we prioritise meter reading to get accurate billing.”
Residents, who wanted to avoid conflict, were advised to submit their water and electricity readings online, on the eTshwane platform, processed when their bills were calculated.
The City had done aggressive meter readings since the administration returned to office in October, at which point the number of meters read was at 25%. In July they were at 79%, and this month they are at 60% and counting.
In pursuit of accurate billing the City has been on a campaign to install prepaid electricity meters in homes, which is already over 70%, as it helps people manage their debt, he said.