Poor Manenberg resident faces water being cut off over R42‚000 bil
A poor‚ elderly Manenberg resident faces losing her water supply after the City of Cape Town issued her with a notice that it would cut off the supply due to non payment.
Shirley Woolgar‚ 73‚ hit the news when it emerged that she was the highest water user in her suburb and owed the city R41‚364.60.
It later emerged that her water bill might be as a result of a water leak which she cannot afford to fix.
But the city is adamant that she pay her bill.
In a letter sent by the city to Woolgar last week‚ the city said she now owes R42‚021.17. She had told TimesLIVE previously that she survives on a pension of R1‚500 a month.
Speaking on behalf of Woolgar‚ administrator of Proudly Manenberg‚ who only goes by the name Gatto‚ said they wrote to the city last week asking the city to explain their demand.
He said following their letter‚ the city has since offered to carry a portion of the tab‚ should Woolgar hire a plumber to fix the leak affecting her house.
Gatto said the city wants Woolgar to then obtain a report from the plumber and submit it. Thereafter it will decide how much of the debt it would write off.
But Gatto said they would meet the city on April 15 because they believed it was the city’s obligation to maintain its water pipes.
“We don’t agree with the idea that she should pay‚” he added.
Siya Mamkeli‚ the city’s area based mayoral committee member‚ responsible for Manenberg‚ confirmed the city sent a letter demanding payment from Woolgar.
“The customer has since then applied for her meter to be tested‚ and as such debt recovery has been suspended pending the results of this test‚” said Mamkeli.
He said the city was going to take similar action with other residents who failed to pay their debts.
“It was explained to the customer that in the event that no fault is found with her meter‚ the high bill is likely due to a leak on her property‚” said Mamkeli.
He said residents were financially responsible for water lost through leaks on private plumbing.
“The client was also advised that she would be able to qualify for an underground leaks rebate on submission of a plumber’s [report] confirming an underground leak on her property‚” he added.
Last month‚ Mamkeli told The Times that a water inspector had gone to the property and that Woolgar was not at fault.
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