Two pensioners from Kuils River say the City Of Cape Town threatened to cut their water after they failed to pay a bill of R63 000.
Clive and Marilyn Fortuin, both 62, from Sarepta say they were shocked when they received the “outrageous” bill.
“We usually pay R500 for water per month. In March, we received a bill of R63 000. We are three people living in the house and we have been trying our best to save water, we even purchased a 1 000 litre Jojo tank,” Clive explained.
Clive says when he got the bill he contacted his insurers to check for any leaks on his property, and they found and repaired an underground leak.
“The council inspector also came, he showed us that he is liaising with his office regarding the matter and stated we were not responsible for this bill.
“He also mentioned to myself and my wife that we need to pay what we paid before, i.e. R500, and just forget about the excessive bill,” he says.
However, this plan backfired when the City informed them that their water will be cut unless they applied for a rebate and then pay half of the bill.
“Now the municipality is singing a different tune. They want us to pay R30 000 or our water is cut. We do not know what to do. We get pension of R1 600. Where must we find the money to pay this bill?”
Marilyn says: “We will be dead by the time we pay off that R30 000.”
Mayco Member for Water, Xanthea Limberg, says: “In cases where residents cannot afford to pay their bill, the City provides the option of an affordable payment plan for debtors to settle their arrears, where compliance with the agreed payment plan leads to the suspension of all debt management actions and no interest is raised until the arrears are paid in full.”