The City of Tshwane has reiterated its call for customers to pay for services they have consumed.
The call was made by MMC for Human Settlements Ofentse Madzebatela in the face of a protest against estimated bills by some residents and political parties at Tshwane House on Wednesday.
Madzebatela, who received a memorandum of demands, undertook that the municipality would respond within 14 days to grievances expressed by residents.
“We are encouraging all of us to continue to pay our bills because it is important. The City is in serious financial distress. We saw during the strike that if there is a total collapse it is us black people that will suffer the most. So, if this City collapses we will suffer the most. Those who can pay must pay. Everything that we use we must pay for. There is nothing for free,” he said.
He told protesters that the municipality purchases bulk water from Rand Water and bulk electricity from Eskom.
He said those who can’t afford to pay ought to apply for indigent services.
“We have spoken to the new deputy mayor on the issue of increasing assessors so that people can be assessed and that those who can afford must pay and those that can not afford must then get the free electricity that we are offering as well as the free water that we are offering. For everything we consume we must be able to pay for it,” Madzebatela said.
During a service delivery march led by the Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Civic Association (Lasca), political parties berated the multiparty coalition government in Tshwane, saying it has forgotten about the plight of people living in the townships.
Xiluva president Bongani Baloyi said: “They are giving you the rates that are inflated. They forget that they must administer indigent policy in a fair manner. Instead, they are stealing the little amount that you are paying. If you were to see the quality of life that (Mayor Cilliers) Brink is living it won’t make sense. It is more than the salary that he is earning.”
The Azanian People's Organisation’s representative, Dudu Shaba also lamented the fact that residents receive unscrupulous bills allegedly emanating from wrong meter readings.
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania blamed the municipality for failing to collect dustbins and keeping the township entrance clean.
The party also expressed concerns about exorbitant monthly municipal bills to residents.