Residents versus municipality: Throwdown looms over municipal bills

municipal
Fred van Dyk took to social media and received hundreds of responses and reactions.

The latest municipal accounts have residents ready to march in protest.

Residents across the board were hit with increased dues this month, and it was only hours before some decided enough was enough.

First and foremost was Fred van Dyk.

He took to social media last Monday, calling for all those unhappy with their accounts to join him in protest against the municipality.

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PUBLIC NOTICE: Meeting to discuss protest against high municipal bills

By the next day, his post had hundreds of responses and comments.

Since then, van Dyk has begun the application process for a legitimate public gathering, in sight of establishing a formal, legal protest.

“My increase this month was exactly R1 000 which is strange. We’ve seen a consistent increase in rates since the beginning of the year and I’m done with it.”

Van Dyk said this affected many other residents, who were simply too aware that the municipality held all the cards in its hand.

However, he urged residents to be less accepting of the status quo.

“I work damn hard for my money, so why should the municipality just take it?”

Van Dyk called the increases ‘not right’, and stated it was time Newcastle residents to stand up and fight for their income.

This led to a community meeting last Thursday night.

Residents dissected the current billing situation, raising points on block tariffs, prescribed prices from the National Energy Regulator (NERSA) and the seasonal tariffs.

In future, van Dyk will establish a committee to further plans.

Following from the meeting of Thursday, van Dyk has requested residents to drop off copies of their last five month’s bills at his office on 2 Ayliff Street (BJ Driving School).

These accounts will be used to calculate escalation of rates this year.

“I would like to thank all the people who attended the meeting. I did not think I would have such a great response and it shows just how many people are gatvol of being ripped off,” he concluded.

Attempts to garner response from the municipality proved fruitless.

  AUTHOR
Bruce Douglas
Journalist

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