During April 2015 I received my Electricity account and it showed that the account was in credit to the amount of R 380. 00. This amount was deducted from the consumption for March and the amount payable was R 860.00.

Everything was normal and reflected the true state of affairs.

THEN - AT THE END OF MAY 2015 AN ACCOUNT ARRIVED FOR R 73000.00 (Seventy Three Thousand Rand)

I immediately questioned this and noticed that the meter number was not the same as my meter number.

I made copies of the accounts received during Jan, Feb, march and April and sent it off to Customer care at Tshwane Municipality.

I received an acknowledgement of receipt and thought that the matter would be resolved, ha-ha, big mistake. At the end of April I arrived home to find a Notice of Intent to disrupt the power supply to our smallholding stuck through the gate and to my surprise, when I entered the house, that the power was already disconnected. This resulted in  the death of some of my prized Koi due to asphyxia.

We are not connected to the Municipal water supply and rely on a borehole for water. This requires pumping water into a 5000 l tank - which of course requires electricity for the pump.

The sudden disconnection of the electricity caught us with only a small amount of water in the reservoir. We immediately contacted the relevant emergency number that is given on the documentation and after severe depletion of airtime eventually got hold of the person that was empowered to look at our predicament.

The power was cut on Friday and after a weekend of using water from our splash pool to flush the toilets and wash dishes (we rinsed the dishes with the remaining fresh water in the tank in case you wondered) The power was at last restored on the Monday.

Since this incident I have sent in the same complaint and copies of the relevant documentation to show that the meter reading was from another meter, not ours (photographs, copies etc.) to the Customer Care Dept.  I received acknowledgement of receipt from an automated system but my account still reflects readings from another meter - with the astronomical amount and accompanying threats of power disruption.

I have heard of accounts from people that were required to pay the amount shown on their bills before power was restored and the billing errors attended to. (some were akin to the amounts one would expect for a large factory or school)

We have been living with this threat since April and I fear the day that our electricity is disconnected and we will have to pay the sixty thousand Rand for some other institution's electricity consumption.(the amount must be for a huge consumer, not a household)

Remember, it has only been almost eight months, way too soon to expect any response. After all, the Mayor and his henchmen are not affected. They will not be required to take COLD birdie-baths, wash dishes in pool water or carry water in buckets to flush their toilets.

Their Koi are safe from asphyxiation and it generally is not their problem, as long as they can live the good life and get re-elected (instated) every time local government is appointed by central government. We are at the end of the tuft of hair that belonged to Gunget (Egyptian god) He had a tuft of hair and people swore by *Gunget's tuft. i.e. **f the consumer.

** "f" is short for the action of moving one's body in short, jerky movements, normally away from the person uttering the word.

*Alternative spelling - Goandgetstuffed.


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