WHILE planned meetings aimed at addressing water account queries with residents of the Komani area did not go as well as planned, the Chris Hani District Municipality has indicated that delays with the printing of such accounts are being addressed.CHDM took over the water supply and accounts service from the former Lukhanji Municipality in 2013.
Subsequent challenges have included a lack of accounts being sent out, queries over tariffs charged and questions about the reading of meters.
The Rep recently reported (“Water accounts focus a good idea – Deysel”, October 14) that the district authority had embarked on a series of public meetings as part of a customer account correction campaign throughout the area earlier this month, a move praised by the Komani Civic and Ratepayers’Association.
The Rep subsequently reported, however, (“Water billing fiasco worsens”, 21 October) that the association had expressed its disappointment over CHDM’s failure to address technical glitches faced during the campaign.
Problems included faulty machines which were unable to print out customer accounts at the various venues.
A meeting between CHDM and stakeholders took place last Friday to discuss the way forward.
Association chairman Tokkie Deysel said this week that the district municipality was set to respond within 14 days.
“Obviously people are very disappointed. We were under the impression that it would be a one-on-one (session) where residents could sit with the officials and sort out whatever problems they had, but it was not the case.”
CHDM spokeswoman Thobeka Mqamelo said challenges had been experienced during the campaign.
“It was not as well attended as we had hoped despite the publicity, and especially in view of the fact that we conceded to a request by the ratepayers’ association to urgently attend to the matter, which we did earlier than we had planned. The library hall attendance was poor. We had to cancel the occasion planned for October 19 as just a handful attended on the previous day. People from Mlungisi and Ezibeleni used the opportunity to query their accounts and apply for indigent support while those from town mostly queried (the) accuracy of their accounts.”
She said accounts could not be printed at the venues though information was made available.
“However, customers who have access to email were able to get this information. As we are aware that not all customers have access to the internet, we are working on resolving challenges regarding the printing of statements. We wish to thank those who have come forward with their queries and further commit to continue to look for solutions to address the billing- related challenges.
“We appeal to consumers to take full advantage of such opportunities, and will periodically embark on this kind of process to maintain constant interaction with our consumers.”