MUST READ: Residents left in the dark due to error

A billing error saw around 40 residents cut off last week.

Some ratepayers were cut off after a payment mishap listed them as defaulters.

Residents took to social media last week to vent their anger, at being accused of not paying their accounts and subsequent cessation of services.

The number of affected households was believed to be over 40.

A post to social media garnered a fair number of comments and reactions, including a response from a resident who said this had happened to him two months in a row.

The reported cause of the billing error was a glitch in the system.

According to a resident, who opted to remain anonymous, the municipality corrected the error soon thereafter and sent an SMS of apology to affected residents.

The matter even prompted intervention from Mayor, Makhosini Nkosi.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Executive Committee (Exco), Cllr Nkosi used the opportunity of his unopposed proposal to explain what had happened.

“We had people cut off even though they paid, and it created an issue.”

Cllr Nkosi said after hearing of the problems, he made contact with relevant staff and the matter was resolved within an hour.

ALSO READ: PREVIEW: Mayor breaks his silence on electricity rates increases

However, he was concerned at the impression residents were given.

“It’s not a good face being shown to the public, especially when there are possible reconnection fees involved.”

Cllr Nkosi urged councillors and directors to ensure payment systems were being mastered, otherwise they were to be removed.

Residents were quick to lambaste the municipality despite its swift response.

As one resident stated, the only time the municipality showed good productivity and efficiency was when it cut electricity in Newcastle west.

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  AUTHOR
Bruce Douglas
Journalist

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