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Randburg residents receive water bills for over R100 000

Households in Randburg have been receiving exorbitant water bills, with some up to 30 times higher than usual.

Johannesburg Water (JW) has rubbed salt in the wound by threatening to cut off these residents’ water supply if the bills are not paid.

“In October last year I received a water bill of around R82 000, stating that I owe them,” local resident Seelan Naidu told the Randburg Sun.

“In previous months, we were averaging between maybe R2 000 and R3 000 a month.”

Naidu’s attempts to resolve the issue led him to the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), where he was given a reference number and told Johannesburg Water would review and possibly replace his water meter.

Problems started when water meter was replaced

Another resident from Ward 102, Gasen Naiker, had a similar experience when he and his wife received an astronomical water bill of R100 000 in October 2023.

“Our meter was replaced in April last year…that’s where all this trouble started,” said Naicker.

“In October, we get a bill for R100 000. That’s when we started enquiring.”

Despite continuous efforts to address the issue, including monthly visits to the revenue department, the Naicker’s bills remained unchanged.

After the revenue department gave them a printout of a job card, the Naickers discovered discrepancies in their account, including a different meter number.

Gasen’s wife Malini expressed her frustration, questioning how a family of three could possibly use so much water.

“No one wants to give us answers. For all we know, the meter number that has been wrong on our account all the time is where they take the consumption readings from. It could be a business down the road.”

The Naickers say they have been paying their water bills religiously with a monthly debit order on their account, and have not defaulted on a single payment.

A water bill of over R100K

Residents’ attempts to seek help from the relevant authorities have been met with a lack of accountability and transparency, they say.

“The City of Johannesburg tell me that unfortunately there’s nothing they can do,” added Naidu. “They’re (CoJ) waiting on Johannesburg Water. Now my bill is sitting at almost R102 000, which they are now forcing me to pay and I don’t have those funds.”

Ward 102 councillor Lucinda Harman has been advocating for affected residents who have been stung with these highly-inflated water bills.

“I have escalated both these issues,” she said. “I cannot enforce, instruct revenue or any entity, but I have asked for assistance.”

The residents have demanded swift action from relevant authorities to sort out their bills and restore trust in the billing system.

Questions were sent to both JW and the CoJ regarding the issue, says the Randburg Sun. Johannesburg Water spokesperson Nolwazi Dhlamini redirected the matter to the billing department, but no response has yet been received.

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