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Friday May 11, 2018

Joburg decimal error inflates electrical bill

Seven weeks of misery for Windsor East residents living without electricity due to an incorrect bill of R140 000 has had a happy ending.

Metrowatch reported on April 20 that the owners of eight units in a complex had been disputing incorrect bills for almost six weeks, after the city's revenue department incorrectly inserted a decimal point, which resulted in a huge increase in their bill.

After Metrowatch's intervention, the complex is now more than R13 000 in credit.

Brian Lurie, representing the complex, said he was glad the electricity has been restored, but it had been a stressful time.

The city's meter readers had recorded an incorrect decimal point, showing usage of 3 397 instead of 339.7, he said.

"I went to Thuso House to report it, but I was told that I was wrong and can't read. The city's entire staff should be sent back to primary school to learn numeracy.

"They should capture only the left four digits and ignore all decimal places," he said.

Lurie was worried about what would happen if the meter had to toll onto 1 000 units, fearing more incorrect readings.

He was told they would have to pay R80 000 for a new meter to be installed.

City spokesperson Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela confirmed that the account had been rectified.

Anna Cox
City Watch
The Star

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