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Heideveld residents take City of Cape Town to court over water bills

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The Heideveld Residents Association in collaboration with civil society groups filed an application to the Western Cape High Court against the City of Cape Town over high water bills.

This follows an urgent public meeting announced by the Heideveld Resident Association held at the Heideveld library on Wednesday, to bring together various communities within the surrounding areas of the Cape Flats to address issues relating to faulty water meters, electricity and poor service delivery.

The Poor Flat Dwellers Association and Housing Assembly attended the meeting to listen and deal with the communities’ grievances which led to the decision to take the City to court.

Deputy director of Poor Flat Dwellers Association Maureen Rambhadursing said they are looking at a successful application that will benefit them going forward.

“The outcome of Wednesday’s engagement was to include the residents’ complaints in an application to the Western Cape High Court by the Legal Resource Centre which is our litigation firm. The attorney on record is Anneline Turpin and she is assisted by Phindile Joshua from the Housing Assembly,” she said.

Rambhadursing further stated that the stakeholders were concerned about the way the City carried out the installation of the water meters as well as the allocation of the number of kilolitres of water given to a household a day.

“The stakeholders are extremely worried, and the primary problem is that in the Western Cape, the City has installed meters for residents that has a subtle frown of consumption of between 200 and 350 kilolitres and have exorbitant water bills,” she added.

According to Rambhadursing, in terms of the by-laws of the Western Cape, the water meters belong to the state indefinitely, but the residents are requested to pay these bills and have been charged exorbitant bills towards paying off the water meters.
She noted this move by the City allegedly to be improper and unlawful.

“Most certainly our dams are not empty. By now they should have lifted the restriction of water and their accounting practices – the administration should have been changed at the period that your water change,” she said.

She said considering the water consumption given to residents, they are unaware that after the allocation of 350 kilolitres, a certain amount is charged once they get to 500 kilolitres.

Rachel Mohamed

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