Ladysmith residents using the conventional electricity meter system are deeply concerned about the extra cost of R100 reflected on their accounts.
Mr and Mrs Hurter from the Democratic Alliance (DA) have received phone calls from a number of concerned residents, as many of them had not received their electricity accounts and others complained about the extra R100 on their accounts.
Mrs Margaret Hurter told the Ladysmith Gazette that they are distressed about this situation, and have called the municipality and sent e-mails regarding this urgent matter.
“I believe this is very unfair. As a pensioner, how can you afford to pay extra money?” said Mrs Hurter.
Mrs Singh, a pensioner from Acaciavale, commented that, “We already pay so much for electricity and water every month that we can’t afford to pay more. Even R100 is difficult for us.”
According to municipality spokesperson Siyabonga Maphalala, the R100 basic charge is levied to all credit meter consumers as of July 1, 2018.
This is a fixed basic charge levied monthly to recover the administrative costs and meter reading costs due to the predominance of prepayment meters.
“The municipality continues to encourage consumers to move to prepaid through a lower tariff incentive. While some people have taken advantage of the lower prepaid tariffs, a small group remain on credit meters. This results in additional costs being incurred by the municipality in respect of meter reading, billing, etc.”
The additional charge was approved by Nersa (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) on June 30.