A 79-year-old Moorton pensioner was irate and highly stressed after she received a sky-high utility bill of R3 million, recently.
Through efforts from community activists, the ridiculously high utility bill was brought down to R600.
Widower, Indrani Reddy said that she first received the high bill in December 2017 and became extremely worried.
“I was highly stressed and contacted the municipality several times, however. I did not receive any assistance. I was then referred to someone after my son conducted a meter reading. I am a pensioner and therefore, my son pays my utility bill,” she stated.
When she explained her issue to the individual she was referred to, she was told to pay R700 as normal and that the bill would be resolved.
Reddy claims that no one offered her the help that she desperately needed and despite paying her usual amount, her utility bill began escalating every month.
“I was told that I had to pay the amount, however, I did not have the money to do so. Fortunately, I was assisted by Cyril Naidoo of the Moorton Civic Development Forum, who helped resolve the issue and reduce the bill.”
Speaking about high utility bills, Naidoo said, “If you believe that your bill is incorrect, customers must check the reading on the meter against the reading on the bill or check the estimated charges and consumption according to the previous bill.”
According to Naidoo, there is also a possibility of a water leak if the water consumption is high and customers can conduct tests on their meters.
“The municipality should sort out their in-house problems prior to imposing on redlining consumers with the credit bureau and handing matters to court. This is unfair to consumers, who are already faced with the ever-increasing cost of living daily and this impacting on the consumers to dig deeper into their pockets,” concluded Naidoo.