Ratepayers to march to Pietermaritzburg Metropolis Corridor over billing system

By Chanel George

Metropolis ratepayer associations and councillors are able to defend ratepayers’ rights as they put together to march to the Pietermaritzburg Metropolis Corridor as we speak to protest the municipality’s botched billing system.

Anthony Waldhausen of Msunduzi Affiliation of Residents Ratepayers and Civics (Marrc) has launched into the protest of the a number of billing cycle, calling the method irregular and illegal.

He mentioned Marrc has been participating with the municipality however they aren’t offering suggestions on the brand new billing cycle.

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“The rollout of the billing cycle has been poorly communicated and has precipitated extra confusion than earlier than. Residents are unable to pay on Could 15 and are deeply wired and anxious about being disconnected,” mentioned Waldhausen.

Waldhausen requested that the municipality put this new billing cycle on maintain and return to the drafting board and begin participating all residents by way of workshops and higher communication platforms.

Marrc is asking for an overhaul of the billing system and for the municipality to deal with the a number of billing queries from residents.

We name on all residents to return out of their numbers to voice their objections.

“If our calls for will not be met within the memorandum inside 14 days, we are going to embark on a category motion lawsuit to cease the brand new billing cycle and to start out yet again with correct public participation. We can even request the courts to compel the municipality to develop a programme to deal with the foremost billing disaster that’s confronted by residents,” mentioned Waldhausen.

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Rooksana Ahmed, DA ward 31 councillor, mentioned councillors had been answerable to the ratepayers. “The frustrations, issues and stresses, she mentioned, had been a results of the way during which Msunduzi’s finance division dealt with the billing system rollout.

“The workshop for councillors was solely held days after residents had been issued with the double billing. At this workshop, we had been knowledgeable that this course of was on the desk to be carried out way back to 2021,” mentioned Ahmed.

Ahmed added that one of many important points was the shortage of communication.

No public participation in two years to create consciousness and enter from ratepayers.

“Then so as to add to their anger, residents had been despatched a discover from the municipality to decide on billing for both the fifteenth or thirtieth, and now residents have been refused the above choice.”

Ahmed mentioned she can be having a gathering with the finance supervisor on Thursday to acquire responses on queries from residents. Craig Freese, chairperson of the Eastwood Residents Ratepayers Affiliation (Erara) mentioned they’d a gathering with the mayor, deputy mayor and municipal supervisor together with ward councillor Roy Ram and Ward 34 battle room committee in addition to all Msunduzi Municipality division heads.

ALSO READ | Msunduzi residents nonetheless confused about new ‘double-billing’ system

“The assembly was productive therefore the proposed new billing cycle and objection letters on tariffs suggestions stay a bone of rivalry as we await suggestions from income division, particularly concerning tariff letters of objection,” mentioned Freese.

Jimmy Naidoo, chairperson of the Northern Areas Residents Ratepayers Affiliation (Narra) mentioned lots of the residents, from pensioners to indigent households in addition to center class have indicated they’re already cash-strapped primarily based on the inflated payments they at the moment obtain.

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