Estimates cause error readings

Shiela Jacobs, Cafda

In response to the letter “Billing issues” (Southern Mail, Wednesday July 18),

I hear what Peter Flower (City of Cape Town water and sanitation department director) is saying about the inaccurate billing and also that only a small percentage of accounts contain billing errors.

Mr Flower is trying to cover up for their small errors, which are far from small for us. Thousands of pensioners with the lowest income are being affected by these small errors.

What he doesn’t say is that all error accounts are because the department is not reading meters but making estimates.

This is causing havoc and violating our people’s right to water.

People have to wait in long queues to sort out these incorrect bills and even if the bill is incorrect, they never acknowledge that it is their fault and they will come up with excuses like there must be leak and you need to get a plumber and if there
is no leak you must bring a certificate to prove it.

A lot of us are using 50KL for our washing, bath and to flush our toilets. We don’t use more than our 50KL. We also collect water at free open places but still we get high bills. We only get 50KL but don’t have access to our meters as the department has the keys.

If we want more water we need to apply with an affidavit stating how many people are in the house.

I need Mr Flowers to say the truth as
their consumers are suffering due to the City not taking accountability for the water crisis.

They did not put measures in place to prevent this water crisis and also to find better ways to deal with the consumers who are very unhappy about their unfair billing, which is daylight robbery. It brings tears to my eyes that our old people are suffering with impossible water
bills.