Tshwane angry over call to withhold money for utilities

Henry

The Tshwane metro hit back after calls by a civic association that payments for utility services owed to the metro should be withheld.

According to the metro, the “reckless and irresponsible statements” were made by one Tshepo Mahlangu, leader of this civic association, Lotus Gardens, Atteridgeville and Saulsville Civic Association (Lasca). Mahlangu has apparently been urging his followers for a long time to use municipal services such as water and electricity without paying for them.

“In his spare time, Mahlangu records voice messages which he distributes on social media. He also jumps from one radio station to the next to vomit bile towards the city and incite lawlessness,” says Selby Bokaba, spokesperson for the Tshwane metro.

“The city has made a principled decision not to respond to his attention-seeking actions, and simply takes note of his statements. However, it is important to share this with residents so that they are not led astray with untruths.”

The metro claims Lacsa has been harassing metro officials for some time and preventing them from taking meter readings in areas where they believe they have supporters.

Meter readers have in some cases been prevented from entering properties, so that people consequently receive bills whose amount is determined at an estimated value.

“The metro works hard to ensure that bills are accurate and for that power and water meters must be read regularly.”

The metro says it already offers several free services to poorer communities – far above the national standard.

“All residents and customers must pay for the municipal services they use. The city has already introduced credit control measures – which the law provides for – in efforts to collect the more than R22 million in outstanding debt.”