FRUSTRATED: Carlo Roman, 52, has a water bill that shows a balance of R168 276.78. CREDIT: Brendan Magaar

This man is dik kwaad after receiving a water bill of nearly R170 000 from the City of Cape Town.

Carlo Roman, 52, says he has no idea why his bill is so high, and says the City has been giving him the runaround as he tries to sort out the matter.

Not only was he forced to pay for a water meter test himself, but the City also tried to debit his bank account twice for the moerse water account, which was returned unpaid, incurring a further cost of R230.

The Mandalay man says he received the nasty surprise from the City in June, when his municipal account showed he owed them R168 276.78, of which R146 037.38 was for water consumption in April and May this year.

In previous municipal accounts, he used to pay between R500 and R800 per month.

The dad believes he has a water meter, which reflects the high amount reflected on the bill, and insists there’s no way his family, six adults and one baby, could have used that much water in that short period.

“The account I received at the end of June is wrong. This amount of water is equal to 12 years consumption. There were never leakages on my property. The meter shows this amount, that much water could not pass without a flood,” says Roman.

Roman, who works in the clothing retail industry, says his account currently stands at R171 563.98, “because the City keeps adding interest”.

He says since June 29, he has lodged a complaint and went to Promenade Mitchells Plain Council office to arrange a meter test.

He paid for the test, but discovered weeks later that it was never processed.

“I have done everything they wanted. Nothing gets fixed. It is clear by the before and after accounts that this account is incorrect.”

“I cannot and will not pay for water I did not use,” says Roman.

Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Ernest Sonnenberg, says they are aware of the matter and working on it.

“The City of Cape Town notes the customer’s frustration; however, it is standard procedure for cases of disputed consumption to be resolved via checks for leaks and an application for the meter to be tested,” he says.

“The City is however investigating this particular incident and will liaise directly with the customer.”