Neighbours Carol Dawes and Nizaam Hendricks, who live in two of three cottages in Woodstock, said their households were using a single water meter. Picture: Supplied
Neighbours Carol Dawes and Nizaam Hendricks, who live in two of three cottages in Woodstock, said their households were using a single water meter. Picture: Supplied

Woodstock residents slam 'negligent' City of Cape Town for double water billing

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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Cape Town - Woodstock residents have accused the City of gross negligence for an incorrect water billing matter they said had been left unattended for four years.

Neighbours Carol Dawes and Nizaam Hendricks, who live in two of three cottages in Woodstock, said their households were using a single water meter and were being billed monthly for the same amount of water coming through the meter, which, they said, meant they were paying twice for water.

Dawes said they also discovered that another household between them was also using their water and not paying for it. She said inspectors had noted both the lack of individual meters and the unusually high bills and assured them of action to rectify the situation as a matter of priority, but nothing has been done.

“I am paying monthly for approximately 25 000kl of water. I am a single woman of pensionable age and living alone and cannot be using that amount of water nor continue to pay for it. The cottage in between us continue to use this water, but deny abusively that they are.

“All it needs is for the City to supply a meter to Nizaam, who had applied and paid for it, and connect me to the meter outside my home and then assign those meters correctly to each rate account and start billing us for water used only by the household. Further to that, the accounts department must rectify the incorrect billing over the past three years,” she said.

Hendricks said her current water bill was about R13 000 for two months as a result of all the water that was being lost from the other house.

“I suspect next month’s bill is going to be worse. I have also received disconnection notices if its not paid but have done absolutely nothing to remedy their mistakes and we have to pay for it.

“In this day and age where work is scarce and pennies are being counted they want to force us to pay ... and not sort out their errors and incompetence. This has been going on for years,” she said.

Dawes said this may be a case for possible fraud, as there was illegal billing of the water despite frequent notifications to the water department. She said they were faced with the threat of the water being cut off or electricity being curtailed if they did not pay the bills, as well as the disharmony between the neighbours, with unpleasant accusations being flung around.

The City said it was looking into the matter and would respond in due course.

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