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Boven pre-paid meter woes

Residents of Waterval Boven are up in arms about poor service from Emakhazeni Local Municipality (ELM) when it comes to the installation of pre-paid electricity meters in homes and businesses in the town. Numerous complaints in this regard have been received by THG over an extended period from disgruntled business owners and residents alike in an attempt to publicise the problems and delays they are experiencing and, hopefully, put pressure on ELM officials to improve service delivery.
One well-known resident – who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation – related details of a number of on-going issues to THG. “Because people have, many times in the past, had problems with the municipality when it comes to their electricity bills, more and more people have opted to change their electricity supply to the new pre-paid method,” he said. “The whole system is actually very quick and easy to install and a competent electrician can do a standard installation in about half an hour,” he further commented.

“The problem is not the installation,” he said “it’s how long the whole application takes. You make application, fill out all the forms, pay out over two thousand Rand for a typical pre-paid setup, and then you wait!” he complained bitterly. He went on to mention that a typical application takes anywhere between four and six months to finalise and that, when queried, calls are not returned by ELM officials and letters and e-mails go unanswered. “They simply are not worried. They do what they like, when they like and a person just has to put up with it.” “Mr. X” went on to add, “If a person is paying good money for a service then they should get the service they pay for!”

Unfortunately, this type of poor service delivery seems to be the norm. as far as, not only ELM is concerned, but many other municipalities as well. It should not be tolerated and, in THG’s view, citizens should indeed continue to complain bitterly when they feel they are not getting a fair shake from the powers-that-be. After all, the squeaky wheel (hopefully) gets the grease…

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