South Africa
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PP: Tshwane may have irregularly billed residents for water, power

CAPE TOWN - The Office of the Public Protector on Friday shared findings of a probe into allegations of administrative deficiencies in Tshwane.

The investigation into municipal billing issues was initiated in February 2020 following complaints from the public.

Between 2018 and 2021, the Public Protector received at least 70 complaints.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said most of the complaints related to exorbitant bills for water and electricity consumption.

In one case, a customer had a bill of more than R1.6 million.

That was due to the erroneous updating of new meters on the municipal system.

Once corrected, the bill dropped to less than R360,000.

The probe has found it's partly true that the city billed consumers irregularly for water and electricity based on estimated consumption.

The municipality could not take meter readings regularly, because budget constraints restricted the use of private contractors to do readings.

The metro's complaint resolution mechanisms were also found to be ineffective.

Mkhwebane said the city has acknowledged the challenges and had put a number of remedial measures in place.

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