Ricochet News

Municipality withdraws elderly resident’s grant and blocks electricity for “no reason”

By Matthew Collins - Dec 9, 2014
Municipality withdraws elderly resident’s grant and blocks electricity for “no reason”

The Nelson Mandela Bay Ratepayers Association has called for the reinstatement of an elderly Port Elizabeth woman’s financial grant which was suspended, without prior warning, earlier this year.

According to the Association’s spokesperson, Kobus Gerber, 69-year old Kensington resident, Lilian Botha, had been receiving an ATTP (Assistance to the Poor) grant from the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) since 2012, before coming to an abrupt end in March this year.

In an interview with Rnews, Botha said that she had visited the NMBM’s accounts department where, upon providing an affidavit alongside her bank details in May, was given continuous follow-up dates for a meeting that never materialised. Her official NMBM account was later suspended and her pre-paid electricity meter blocked.

“I can’t carry on like this. They did not let me know what they were going to do. They just stopped my lights and that was that”, said Botha, adding that she had to scale down on her medical aid despite needing continuous evaluation after having undergone two heart bypass operations – as well as a large cancer-related operation four years ago.

She also added that most of the food in her fridge, notably the meat, had rotted due to the lack of electricity.

Speaking in a statement to Rnews, Gerber said that the action taken by the municipality was not executed with a written fourteen-day notice, thus making it illegal. He also insisted that the municipality unblocks the meter and reinstates the ATTP grant.

At the time of publishing this article, the Municipality spokesperson, Roland Williams, was yet to reply.


Image courtesy of: tribune.com.pk