The Mercury

City billing crisis after assets seized


IT IS EXTREMELY sad to see how the eThekwini Municipali­ty has transforme­d from an efficient, financiall­y well-off entity from 30 years ago into its present bankrupt, useless, chaotic state.

Recently their assets were seized due to the non-payment of a R43m debt which, of course, has resulted in the collapse of their already compromise­d billing system. To compensate for lost revenue, they now engage in the rather dubious practice of premature disconnect­ion of consumers who are a few days behind, because they have not received their accounts despite being on the e-mail billing system.

This, of course, will do wonders for the council coffers as not only will there be a disconnect­ion fee of R439, but the reconnecti­on fee. Adding salt to the wound is the inoperativ­e call centre numbers dialled on a Saturday morning to try and resolve the situation – all for the sum of R768 – some two or three days late. Or maybe it is because I operate from a complex and was not at work when the two council employees came to disconnect myself and others and they were safe in the knowledge that we would not resort to violence, unlike other residents.

It also needs to be recorded that months go with no meter readings but a two-day arrears galvanises ineffectua­l staff into a frenzy of activity. Maybe it’s time we followed other residents in protesting against the complete lack of service delivery?

TONY BALL | Gillitts

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