R100 000 Bantry Bay water bill sorted

After an eight-month battle over a water bill of more than R100 000, the City have now finally conceded that the Bantry Bay resident’s exhorbitant bill was the result of a failed water meter.

Last month, Atlantic Sun reported that Uwe Koetter had been billed for more than R100 000 over eight months despite him having four
5 000-litre tanks in his basement and therefore using very little municipal water (“City no-show while water bills flow over”, Atlantic Sun, September 21).

Lynn Muir, who was handling the accounts for Mr Koetter, said she was happy the matter was finally resolved.

However, she said, she felt the City of Cape Town could have been more open about “what the problem with the water meter was”.

Xanthea Limberg, the City’s mayoral committee member for informal services, water and waste services and energy, said the adjustment to the bill had been calculated “based on the average of the previous corresponding period”.

She said the changes would be reflected in the resident’s next bill.

When asked why it took so long to check the water meter, Ms Limberg said: “All water enquiries and complaints are prioritised in accordance with potential volume of wastage, capacity, intricacy and other factors.”

She added that it was important for residents to check their water meters on a regular basis.

“This is to see whether they are adhering to water restrictions. And in addition, they are paying for water used, so it is in the interest of a water user to know how much they are using,” she said.

Meanwhile, on Monday the City of Cape Town announced that phase one of their water shortages disaster plan was in effect.

According to the City, dam storage levels were at 37.8%, with useable water at 27.8% while they also say consumption remained too high at 607 million litres of collective usage a day.

They also said spreading awareness of the water shortages among tourists was vital ahead of a busy summer season.

Ms Limberg said: “Domestic users who permanently reside in Cape Town will remain the largest users. Our experience shows that the local outflow of people over the festive season and the closure of some businesses and industry, such as the construction industry, mostly balances the inflow of local and foreign tourists.

“We will all have to do our utmost to ensure that we spread the message of saving water and the restrictions that we must all adhere to.”

The City has also asked all tourism and related businesses to consider adding digital adverts to their websites and booking technology to drive awareness of the water crisis facing the city.