HomeNewsLocalGwanda residents threaten protest over council’s water billing system

Gwanda residents threaten protest over council’s water billing system

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GWANDA residents have threatened wildcat demonstrations against council’s “shambolic” water billing system, which they blamed for producing inflated bills.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Gwanda Residents and Ratepayers’ Association spokesperson, Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo said residents continued to receive huge bills, although water supplies were erratic.

“The residents have been receiving outrageous bills from council and in other cases no bills are received at all. In several cases residents have had to go and query the bills and in most cases, council has reversed the transactions, which leaves a huge doubt on its billing system,” he said.

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“It is shocking to residents that on average, an average Gwanda family of four, is billed about 25 cubic meters of water, which is 25 000 litres per month, something which residents view as extremely impossible. The residents, therefore, have resolved to demonstrate and send a clear message to council that the water department needed to be sorted out.

“The residents are also not happy with the way council doesn’t seem to give water supply a priority in their operations. Water leaks are prevalent and go unattended for long periods, with a point of reference being the main water supply pipe, which was left leaking for close to three years, with nothing done to it and millions of cubic meters of clean water lost.”

Gwanda mayor Knowledge Ndlovu yesterday admitted that the municipality’s billing system had “some problems”, but urged residents to pay up in order to expedite service delivery.

Council claims it is owed nearly $8 million in unpaid bills.

Ndlovu said council was upgrading its water billing system to avoid discrepancies.

“I am sure in a short time things will be back to normal. Whenever there is a change (upgrading), such problems are bound to happen, but as council, we are working flat out to solve our billing system issues so that residents receive accurate bills. We regret the inconveniences,” he said.

Gwanda faces water problems, a situation that has seen residents going for days on end without the precious liquid, exposing many to diseases after fetching it from unprotected sources.

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