My enquiries regarding the persistent complaints about the accuracy of water and electricity meter readings and the subsequent account enquiries prompted a deeper investigation.
The results of this investigation clearly show that we had, and still experience, some challenges following the change in the contractors used to read the meters as well as technical difficulties with the software of the hand-held reading devices.
We have ensured that measures were put in place to mitigate the possibility of incorrect readings, including hands-on support to the contractors as well as upgrades to the software. It is trusted that there will be a marked improvement going forward.
However, it was also shown that the contractor was not able to read a substantial number of meters as they are not accessible.
The Water and Electricity By-Laws of the Municipality is quite clear that it is the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that their utility meters are always accessible to the Municipality.
Hence it is my submission that in order to improve the accuracy of municipal accounts, homeowners must ensure that their meters are always accessible.
In future a notice will be left on the boundary wall or gate of a property where the meters could not be read.
Homeowners will then be requested to take their readings and submit them to the Municipality. It is also good practice to change from post-paid to pre-paid electricity meters and to apply for the water meter to be moved outside a boundary wall.
This will remove the need by the Municipality to access a property for the purposes of reading a meter.
Your co-operation herein is greatly appreciated.