Citizen’s R24000 water bill shock

Emett points to faulty BCM meter

BUFFALO City Metro (BCM) residents’ water woes continue as residents continually complain about high and incorrect water bills that are not being attended to.

DROP IT: BCM residents are up in arms over inflated water bills

BCM resident, Alan Emett’s municipal account has been flagged by BCM after he refused to pay the R24460.32 he was charged for water in December.

In the same month, Emett reported to Buffalo City Metro Municipality (BCMM), that his water meter was leaking badly. The meter was not visible and could not be read due to the leak.

In the same month, Emett received an account stating that a reading was done on December 12. “How was this possible? They couldn’t even see the meter because of the leak,” Emett said.

“Despite reporting the leak, once I returned from my holiday it still was not fixed, I then messaged my ward councillor.”

The meter was only seen to and repaired in January and upon talking to a municipal worker, Emett was told that his account had been flagged.

Water bill nightmare

Fellow BCM resident Jill Atkin also indicated her frustration after being charged R5000 for water. After querying the bill, she was told that there might be a leak.

Her meter was found to have no leak, but the readings continued to increase.

“I’ve tried to read my own meter and it’s impossible, the lid is difficult to lift up and there’s always a thick layer of dust over the meter,” Atkin said.

“They are definitely not reading my meter so where are they getting the readings from?” Atkin asked.

When contacted, BCMM spokesperson, Sibusiso Cindi, indicated that BCMM was addressing problems raised by customers in respect of the billing system by reviewing the current meter reading system.

“The city is also looking at an integrated system to reduce human error,” said Cindi.


  1. In July 2016 I received a bill for R23,000.00. In June of the same year I reported a leak outside my yard at the meter which was overflowing. I reported it and a plumber was sent out to repair the leak. The plumber told me that the leak was on the Municipality side and I should be credited. The next month I received this huge bill and I went to the Municipality office to query this and they told me that was probably a leak, which there was not. The amount was reduced to R16,000.00 after I had to run around from office to office. I was still not going to pay this amount and it was reduced again. Up to now my electricity meter gets blocked every 3 months pending further investigation. I have to go to the water department to have my meter unblocked every 3 months and it is still pending. In March this year,2 020, I received another bill of just over R5,200.00 which completely puzzles me because we are a family of 4 and very water conscious. Since January my bill has been increasing and I have been paying just over R2,900.00, R3,100.00 and now this R5,200.00. I feel like there are a lot of mistakes been made at the Municipality and we as the working citizens just have to pay for these mistakes “if one can even call it that”.
    If you don’t pay they just block your electricity and water supply which is completely unfair when there are no answers for these over inflated Utility Bill queries.


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