Mdantsane residents up in arms over BCM charges

MDANTSANE residents are up in arms over what they feel are unreasonable charges for services by the Buffalo City Municipality.

Public relations officer of the Kwanele People’s Movement Agenda 7, Ben Twalingca, said the organisation had contacted BCM on behalf of residents on May 9 last year.

“People are being billed based on estimated charges and failure to pay results in termination of services. When one asks for clarity from the municipality, they are not given a clear response, except to be told to pay the amount.”

Twalingca said his organisation had called a meeting with the executive mayor, Xola Pakati, demanding the billing system of the BCM be investigated or properly structured.

Until such time as this was done, the body was calling on the municipality to restore services to those affected.

He said the majority of those affected were unemployed and depended on grants.
Among the Mdantsane residents who had lodged objections were some who had arrears of up to R2.8-million.

BCM spokesperson Bathandwa Diamond said the municipality charged for rates and services on the approved tariff for each property within its jurisdiction.

“The city reads all electricity and water meters in the case of metered properties. However, interim charges are raised when meter readings are unobtainable. The interim is based on the customer’s average consumption over a 12-month period. The interim charge will, however, be reversed once the actual reading is obtained.“

Diamond said it was difficult to respond to a generalised question as queries are based on account specific basis. Consumers were urged to visit their nearest revenue management offices so that their queries could be attended to or clarified or contact 086-111 3017.

“We would like to treat each case independently so that the metro’s revenue management office can give clarity when a consumer presents his or her query,” she said.

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