News / South Africa

Vicky Abraham
2 minute read
24 Jan 2017
6:30 am

City of Joburg promises to resolve R1.6m power bill

Vicky Abraham

The city said it regrets the error in the billing statement and has launched a probe into the matter.

Pierre Sanan poses for a portrait, 20 January 2017, at his offices in Turffontein, Johannesburg. Sanan has been wrongfully issued an over R1,6 million bill for electricity at his business premises after installing a prepaid metre. Picture: Alaister Russell

The long-running electricity billing dispute between the owner of Sanan’s Auto Spares and the City of Joburg, which fluctuates from zero to R1.6 million, could soon be resolved.

Despite having converted from a traditional power meter to a prepaid meter, City Power had previously cut the power. Billing statements were also captured under a wrong address and readings were taken from a disconnected meter.

Pierre Sanan, 74, the affected businessperson and owner of Wembley Stadium and Raceway, said that after The Citizen published his plight yesterday, a municipal employee assured him the matter would be resolved.

“She phoned and said I should not take the matter further because they will send someone to come and fix the problem. It has taken them three years to fix the problem. She said they have flagged the account. But I told her they flagged it but they still cut me off from the electrical poles,” said Sanan.

Sanan added: “Previously about 20 to 30 people came here, took pictures of the meter, but did not fix the problem. They should just open a photo studio here.”

City spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela said the account has been flagged for 30 days and Sanan had been receiving updates.

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“The account was indeed erroneously charged as reflected on the client’s invoice for September 2016. However, this has since been rectified. The electricity meter was also closed retrospective to January 2016.

“The prepaid meter was installed then, but was not timeously loaded on the billing system. The city regrets the error and therefore apologises to the customer for the inconvenience caused,” said Maphologela.

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However, Maphologela said the city was still investigating the outstanding current balance of R166 577.41 – as at December 2016 – which they claim might have been incurred before the prepaid meter was installed.

Papers seen by The Citizen indicated that in November 2015, the actual balance was R871.00 and in December 2015 it was R2 482. Sanan is adamant it was settled before converting to prepaid in January last year.

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