Merafong billing chaos plunging residents into uncertainty and fear

Issued by Ina Cilliers MPL – DA Constituency Head- Merafong
13 May 2024 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Merafong is being inundated with complaints from residents about outrageous municipal accounts received recently. The DA has seen accounts where the municipality is billing a household for electricity in the amount of R260 000 for a single month.

Many longstanding and loyal ratepayers are now receiving claims for outstanding debt that they have never seen before. Rates and charges have also gone up. Our attempts to get answers from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) have been mixed. It appears as if the CFO seems unclear on how to resolve incorrect billing amounts and laments that the electricity and water departments of the municipality refuse to cooperate with her office.

The merge of BIQ data with the new system is being badly botched. Even addresses that appear on accounts are nonsensical and not locatable on a map.

The DA is committed to addressing these concerns and ensuring that the municipality provides accurate and transparent billing to its residents. We are actively engaging with the municipality to resolve the billing issues and ensure that residents are not unfairly burdened by incorrect charges. The DA is meeting with the Municipal Manager today and we will provide feedback to the Merafong community.

Residents are urged to take the following steps while we resolve this issue:

• Keep a record of all the payments you have made since December 2023, and keep a record of the municipal statements you have received.

• To gauge the scope of the problem and get data, you are invited to register your complaint here.

As the municipality continues to navigate the transition to the new billing system, it must prioritise transparency, communication, and accuracy in its dealings with residents. The DA remains committed to advocating for the rights and interests of the residents of Merafong and will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide feedback to affected residents.