HORRIFIED: Gaironesa Rabin, 61, from Kensington says she’s billed for unwanted water meter device. Photo: Supplied
An ouma from Kensington is horrified after the City of Cape Town left her and her family of 10 with just 50 litres of water per day for the entire household.

The 61-year-old says this is after she asked the City to limit her flow because they wanted to save water.

Now Gaironesa Rabin says she feels like she is being punished for doing the right thing, after the City billed her R5 600 for a new meter which they installed without her knowledge.

And the granny says the City told her they want at least half of that money before water is restored at her home in Welcome Lane.

The single mother says their water bill has always been less than R300 per month.

In January her flow was set to 350 litres per day because she didn’t want to be saddled with huge water bills.

However, they then found that 350 litres of water for a family of 11 was far too little, and she went to apply for a quota increase.

“We are in a drought and I wanted us to use less water. I went to ask the council to set the water to 350 litres per day, but it was too little and I went back to have it reset to 600 litres,” explains Gaironesa.

In February, she arrived home from work to find the new meter installed.

SKRIK: Billed R5600 for a water meter installation. Photo: Supplied

“The water meter was installed without permission and unnecessarily. We are already doing all we can and it shows in our water usage.”

Last Friday morning, as she was about to take ablution for morning prayers she found her taps kurkdroog.

She went to the municipal office, where she was told her water has been restricted until she pays R2225.50 immediately.

LIMIT: Exorbitant bill received from the City Council. Photo: Supplied

“I could not believe it. How must we do this with about 50 litres of water? I do not have the money,” the granny says.

But City media manager Luthando Tyhalibongo says Gaironesa and her family had contravened the current water restrictions and have been restricted to 200 litres of water per day.

“The quota increase application was approved and applied in line with the customer’s request. The customer’s supply has been reduced for non-payment and therefore supply is currently on 200 litres per day.

“The request for an upfront payment towards the balance is a prerequisite in order to make a payment arrangement on the account. We therefore urge the customer to make contact with the City to make these necessary arrangements,” Tyhalibongo said.

But Gaironesa says her bill is not in arrears.

“This is not fair, why must I pay half immediately? I am willing to pay it off, but I can’t afford so much at one time,” she says.

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