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Tuesday May 08, 2012

Joburg's billing gets more bizarre

The City of Joburg's billing chaos is going from bad to worse.

Now the council has revived a year-old disputed bill for R1.5 million for an RDP house that runs on prepaid services, and sent the shocked homeowners a pre-termination notice.

The city cannot explain how such accounts and pretermination notices are generated.

The Cosmo City residents, who have pre-paid electricity and water for their RDP house, received the pre-termination notice demanding payment of R1.5m.

Mapule Emily Matsinhe, a domestic worker, and her husband Edward received the pre-termination notice, which was sent to the correct name at the correct address.

Because they use pay-as-you-go electricity and water, they do not owe anything for services, said Mapule's employer, Anne Naylor, who is trying to get to the bottom of the mess.

"We have phoned the number quoted and have not received any advice as to what to do about this," she said.

The Matsinhes were sent the huge bill about a year ago and queried it then. They hadn't seen a bill until the problem resurfaced, much to Edward's confusion.

"We got this bill last year, and we don't know what to do, so we asked our employers to help us.

"We can't pay this money as we live in an RDP house," said Mapule.

The council says the matter is still under investigation. It says that on the system, the rates account reflects an outstanding amount of R295.

"Our team is investigating the errors relating to the final process of printing of statements (configurations), which is suspected to be the source of a problem with the termination notice the customer received," said revenue department spokesman Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela.

The Star

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