The Graskop Unit, under Thaba Chweu Municipality, has faced numerous complaints from residents of the RDP houses in Extension 5 (Graskop), who carried the view that the municipality was “purposely” charging them “exorbitant” amounts for non-existent services.
The Ward Councillor, Sandile Shongwe, said that the residents were informed, upon occupying the houses, that they will be charged a certain fee monthly.
He also said that the uproar, emanating from the residents, was due to the reason that notices from the municipality were repeatedly ignored.
“The residents at the RDP’s were told that they will be charged a monthly fee of R42.70, but they ignored the letters from the municipality. The fee is for a municipal account and it is according to the size of the property. A title deed cannot be issued without a municipal account. The residents couldn’t open full accounts due to services which were not yet provided by the municipality, such as water, sanitation, electricity and others. The fee has been piling up from August 2016 to date,” said Shongwe.
The Councillor said that an arrangement was made to erase the debts owed to the municipality, but only for indigent residents. He said that residents who earn more than R4000 per month do not qualify for this leniency.
“Indigents receive free 50 units of electricity and 10 000 kilolitres of water every month. The indigent policy is renewable every year. There are forms for new applications and renewals. I urge other residents who don’t fall within the indigent bracket to pay their accounts,” he said.
Shongwe urged residents to approach the municipality offices (Civic Centre) for clarity and assistance, on issues relating to bills and accounts.