1 Rita Dutrieux writes: I am sending you my correspondence of the past two years with City of Joburg. Up to now they have not been able to solve this problem. I am being billed for a different meter to the one I am using.

The bill amount listed on my name is standing at R148 000.

I am a volunteer worker, and my budget certainly cannot cover this.

Would Metrowatch be interested in helping me bring this to the attention of whoever it needs to get to?

Since December 2009 I have been trying to get this bill sorted out. I have been polite, I have been kind, I have been all that came naturally to me and all I thought I needed to be. Since that has not worked in solving this problem I am now changing my tactics. I know and understand that there are problems with the billing… but as you, the council, have had more than two years to figure what to do about it, I reckon you all need some assistance.

My November bill 2009 went from R300 per month average to R33 000. I went to 6th Road in Midrand and was instructed not to pay anything until this bill has been sorted.

Since that time I have been calling the call centre regularly, receiving useless reference numbers and speaking to uninformed morons on the phone. People who are unable to make any decisions, or even have a clue as to what to do or even who would know. Added to this, they are hamstrung by being stuck in the middle and do not have any means to get information or procedure from their superiors.

My meter is not the one that reflects on my bill. Now please, please, please… if it sounds to you as if I am begging… you may just be correct, I am… get this sorted out.

Dutrieux writes again: This was eventually sorted out. Thank you so much.

2Simon Gatonye writes: I am a resident of Kensington. My electricity bills started rocketing towards the end of last year to a stage where I could hardly afford to pay, and therefore I decided to apply for a prepaid meter.

When I visited the offices in Turffontein, after settling the amount on the bill (so I thought), they informed me that I had also to settle the amount for the then-present month, which was November 2012 and, at the same time, pay for the prepaid meter.

I didn’t have any more money and I was forced to use my credit card. In all, I paid R2 980 for the unit and R2 280 for settlement, a total of R5 260. I was assured that the gadget would be installed within 14 working days.

Whenever I talk to them, they say someone will call the following day, but no one calls. Now I have received yet another bill with big figures. Please help me as I don’t understand how these people work.

Gatonye writes again: It has been resolved.

3Riaz Wadvalla writes: I am writing to you in the hope that you are able to assist with respect to my particular problem. I bought a property in Houghton in June 2010 and have been in and out of Thuso House basically since then, first in an effort to get billed and more recently in an attempt to understand the bills.

I relocated to Kenya in the midst of this and it has become even more difficult to resolve the issues as I can only go in to Thuso House when I travel to South Africa (which is not that frequent) and given that the Thuso House consultant I have been in e-mail contact with no longer responds to my e-mails.

The problems I am experiencing include not receiving any statements via e-mail since June 2010, despite having registered for this service, not receiving statements through the post (except for one in January last year and one in September last year), not receiving a response from the City of Joburg to e-mails I have sent, receiving an SMS from attorneys advising that my account had been handed over for reasons of non-payment.

My tenants found a pre-termination notice stuck to the front gate – despite repeated assurances from Thuso House that this would not happen. I have now an overbilling of more than R60 000.

I will be truly grateful for your assistance.

Wadvalla writes again: The matter has been resolved, thank you.

4Benvinda Rocha writes: A property in City and Suburban is being charged R59 000 for water while the usual amount is about R500. This has been a query since May 2010. Despite lodging various query reference numbers, and landing up in the VIP department, no further developments have been made to resolve the account.

Rocha writes again: Thanks – this has been resolved.

5Chris Beale writes:

I sold a property in Bezuidenhout Valley in 2010 and the transfer went through in October 2010.

Last March, we were informed that all documentation was correct and we could expect the refund in four to six weeks. After three months and untold phone calls and visits, which usually ended with the “Sorry, we are offline” response, I finally got some joy after a visit to Jorissen Street and was advised that everything was 100 percent correct and we could expect payment of the refund of about R9 500 within the next three weeks . It is now 16 months after transfer and all anyone can tell us is that the payment is being processed.

Beale writes again: Thank you, it was resolved within days of your mail.