CHDM plans to end wa­ter ac­count woes

The Rep - - FRONT PAGE - SONJA RAASCH

THE Chris Hani District Mu­nic­i­pal­ity (CHDM) has out­sourced its wa­ter ac­counts and has in­tro­duced a new elec­tronic me­ter read­ing sys­tem which is aimed at putting an end to ac­count prob­lems ex­pe­ri­enced since 2014.

CHDM took the wa­ter ser­vices func­tion, in­clud­ing billing for wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, over from the for­mer Lukhanji Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in July 2014.

In sev­eral re­ports since then, The Rep has re­ported on queries over rates be­ing charged, the read­ing of me­ters and the non-de­liv­ery of ac­counts. The Ko­mani Civic and Ratepay­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion also ar­ranged sev­eral meet­ings with CHDM to ad­dress re­lated queries (“Wa­ter billing still not re­solved” The Rep, Jan­uary 27, 2017) and raised con­cern that the billing is­sue re­mained prob­lem­atic.

The Rep for­warded queries to CHDM spokesman Thobeka Mqamelo this week af­ter re­newed queries about a lack of ac­counts and me­ters not be­ing read.

Mqamelo said this week that the print­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion of ac­counts had been out­sourced in June.

“We have since no­ticed an in­creased vol­ume of ac­count queries, an in­di­ca­tion that more peo­ple do re­ceive their ac­counts.”

She said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity had, how­ever, also no­ticed a lot of un­de­liv­ered ac­count state­ments which had been at­trib­uted to in­ac­cu­ra­cies in the cus­tomer data­base in­for­ma­tion.

“We urge our cus­tomers to up­date their in­for­ma­tion while data cleans­ing is in progress. “

She said tech­ni­cal glitches ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the new me­ter read­ing sys­tem had led CHDM to av­er­age read­ings, “hence the ab­sence of read­ing and con­sump­tion on the state­ments”.

The sys­tem was, how­ever, now able to up­load read­ings and the sit­u­a­tion was set to im­prove.

“Any ac­counts that have been over­charged due to av­er­ag­ing, will be cor­rected when ac­tual read­ings are cap­tured. We will en­deav­our to main­tain con­sis­tency in send­ing ac­count state­ments via e-mails to cus­tomers who have pro­vided their in­for­ma­tion.”

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