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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    How many water outages did you have?

    Air turns a water meter much faster than water does. In this little place where I live a few years ago we had no water, the East London municipality would send a tanker once a day with 30000 liters of water. This was used by 10.00am so the system ran dry every day for months. This meant that before you got water the air had to bleed out first through your meter.

    There was an engineer who worked out the ratio of water to air turning the small turbine and the results were frightening. They applied this ratio to the accounts and managed to sort it out.

    If there is an outage I always shut my mains off, run on rainwater for at least 24 hrs so my neighbour bleeds the system before I switch back.
    2018 Hilux Dakar fully kitted.
    2021 Suzuli Swift 1.2 GLX Swambo's shopping trolley.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Cape Town, Plumstead/The Sea/Franskraal
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    This is probably the problem. Water meter goes ape and We are paying for air
    Just wondering if anybody looked at the videos I posted here?
    Mercedes W123 300D, runs on Mother Natures Goodness.
    Powered by the Sun, the Rain and the Earth.
    Have now covered 270 000Km on veg oil.
    Oh, and an Isuzu 280DT, 40 000Km on Bio Diesel
    Rand for Rand gets 33Km/L

  4. #23
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    Oct 2016
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    Melkbosstrand
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZuluCowboy View Post
    Just wondering if anybody looked at the videos I posted here?
    I hadn't, but WOW!
    2015 VW Amarok 4motion Auto
    2011 Conqueror Companion

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  6. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    We were also slapped with a R72000 water bill about two years before the serious water restrictions in Cpt.
    We discovered that the C/Council took an Actual water reading in January, then they estimated it month on month until July when they took the next actual reading.
    The difference between the Jan and July readings averaged out that we have "used" 11 000 liter per day while the avarage of the last 12 years showed 733l/day for 5 people.
    We did the following:-
    1. We had two independent water leak tests done to confirm that there are no leaks on our side of the system. Although we did not think there were leaks it removed any uncertainty.
    2. We informed the muncipality that we are contesting the readings and insisted that they put a block/note on the account to prevent our supply being shut off due to the high outstanding amount.
    3. Their clerks told us that we need to pay it or it will be shut off and we pointed to them that while it is in dispute it cannot be cut off. We NEVER paid it, please DONT you will not get it back.
    We continued to pay the previous monthly average.
    4. We took daily readings and recorded it on a spreadsheet to proved that the record of 12 years before is actually a true refection of our consumption and that the reading in Jan was correct but the July one not.
    5. I did a theoretical daily water consumption spreadsheet based on number of showers, toilet use, washing, dishwashing using consuption figures from the appliances, plus garden irrigation and car washes.
    To show that our past average is also based in science in case they thought the meter has always being faulty.
    6. This did not stop them from cutting off our water a few times and instisting that we pay for the reconnection, which they then had to reconnect at no cost because we had all the paperwork to prove it is under review.
    7. Research of the drum type of water meter we had showed they are prone to number "grabbing" when they are old. when the drum with individual numbers are turning a number can "grab" and turned the one next to it at the same time.
    8. Since they did not have any actual readings for months they could not prove that 11000l/day is actually an average consumption. I argued that the meter could have turned on the day after the Jan reading or anytime since then or the day before they read it in July and they could not contest that.
    9. We insisted that the meter was faulty and that it should be replaced, offered to pay for it and told them that if the readings over the next 6mths support the 11000l/day we will pay it but if not they will have to rectify the account. Keep in mind that they allocate a percentage of the water you consume to sewer water that need to be processed and you then pay for that too.
    10. Before they replaced the meter in order to go and "test" it my wife asked for a record/ receipt signed by their plumber of the actual meter reading.
    11. A few months later we received an adjusted account old meter and new meter readings combined. Their closing reading did not correspond with the receipt we had, it showed that the faulty meter consumed 15000l after it left our premesis in the back of their truck.
    12. When they installed the new meter my wife asked for a meter reading after it is installed and one after the water reached the house. The meter went from 0 to 4000l while the air was being displaced by water.
    This proved that we are paying very high water rates when there is air rushing through the pipes.
    It took two years before we received a letter that said that they have corrected the account and that the huge consumption and waste water claim was dropped.
    Good luck sorting it out.

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  8. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    They are all long, frustrating and complicated stories

    I went through this a few years ago -

    when I had no luck after dozens of calls/visits to CoCT over about a year, I finally called the mayor's office ( de Lille, at the time) and politely insisted on- and demanded- a personal meeting appointment with her, and the responsible line manager - and no one else.

    The problem was sorted in days.-without even needing to meet the orange lady!



    Today I note that the main road markings -on a very busy intersection in my area are finally being attended to -as per my request on 20.01.2020 -a year of lockdown and quiet roads, and they could not get it together to do in that time despite regular reminders.

    Some 20 calls to about 15 different people over the last year -then , from this year on, the local councillor,.. another dozen calls/messages -then 2 weeks ago -supervisor,.........

    ....was called verbally abusive at times -(my impatience shows when I deal with idiots), was told to chill by local lentilhead on the group a week ago...... finally got 2 quick calls in succession last Thursday -apologies from DA councillor and assurance the work will be done in days. DA Party Supervisor also called to apologise for COCT inaction.

    Sadly, and as much as one tries to remain patient, it sometimes is just necessary to make some noise.


    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Patrick L; 2021/04/21 at 02:09 PM.
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  9. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Here's what someone had to do to get plans passed a while back!

    I believe they don't like campers, and sorted him out in a few hours!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  10. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Durban
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    There is one possible can of worms that could be peeped into; SANS certification. I do not know what it says for water meters but I know that for electricity meters they require calibration or replacement at set periods (10 years if I remember rightly) if they are used for tariff purposes. Again, for electricity, no municipalities bother with this, certainly not for small customers (I only know because World Bank auditors picked it up).

    It may cost R500 or so to download the SANS specification or standard for water meters and it may be fruitless but it could be interesting.

  11. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    cape town
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    They are all long, frustrating and complicated stories

    I went through this a few years ago -

    when I had no luck after dozens of calls/visits to CoCT over about a year, I finally called the mayor's office ( de Lille, at the time) and politely insisted on- and demanded- a personal meeting appointment with her, and the responsible line manager - and no one else.

    The problem was sorted in days.-without even needing to meet the orange lady!



    Today I note that the main road markings -on a very busy intersection in my area are finally being attended to -as per my request on 20.01.2020 -a year of lockdown and quiet roads, and they could not get it together to do in that time despite regular reminders.

    Some 20 calls to about 15 different people over the last year -then , from this year on, the local councillor,.. another dozen calls/messages -then 2 weeks ago -supervisor,.........

    ....was called verbally abusive at times -(my impatience shows when I deal with idiots), was told to chill by local lentilhead on the group a week ago...... finally got 2 quick calls in succession last Thursday -apologies from DA councillor and assurance the work will be done in days. DA Party Supervisor also called to apologise for COCT inaction.

    Sadly, and as much as one tries to remain patient, it sometimes is just necessary to make some noise.


    Best of luck!
    I have found that some areas get priority treatment and others get overlooked. Seems like your area is the same as mine and is often overlooked and mostly nothing gets done about any maintenance requests. My cousin lives 2 neighbourhoods away, She makes one call for the same type of request and they come out within a week. My neighbours and I have been reporting the same type of request as my cousin for 2 years and we still waiting.

  12. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by riyadh View Post
    I have found that some areas get priority treatment and others get overlooked. Seems like your area is the same as mine and is often overlooked and mostly nothing gets done about any maintenance requests. My cousin lives 2 neighbourhoods away, She makes one call for the same type of request and they come out within a week. My neighbours and I have been reporting the same type of request as my cousin for 2 years and we still waiting.
    All I can suggest is to look up your ward councilor's details , call him/her with your ref. # received from the reporting call centre,

    ..... and 'encourage' action by reminding them that you have a vote, and your family/friends/neighbours have a vote too, and the lack of action -or at least an explanations for delay - could result in a new councilor!

    JUST IN https://www.news24.com/news24/southa...tions-20210421

    Remind your councilor of the 27 October 2021-Local Government elections that you know about!

    Realising that social media-and neighbourhood chat groups - are very good at dispersing notes on local affairs and failings, also seemed to twitch some action!

    It's a cushy job -some R 550K/year in 2019 -(probably 600+ now -with their above-inflation increases-even during Covid), plus who knows what extra fringe benefits in RA,health,car,travel,...., (plus attendant 'PA's' -as they love to call their assistants/secretaries). Do councilors still get salary/stipend from their party once in council?

    Good Luck!
    Last edited by Patrick L; 2021/04/21 at 09:20 PM.
    "The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence."

    - Charles Bukowski

  13. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    It's a cushy job -some R 550K/year in 2019 -(probably 600+ now -with their above-inflation increases-even during Covid), plus who knows what extra fringe benefits in RA,health,car,travel,...., (plus attendant 'PA's' -as they love to call their assistants/secretaries). Do councilors still get salary/stipend from their party once in council?

    Good Luck!
    Attached is a summary of what the CoCT executive and council extract from taxpaying citizens each year. The cost of CoCT has trebled in the past decade, and has increased five fold to us - even though we now consume much less electricity and water.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #31
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    Jan 2007
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    Cape Town
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick L View Post
    All I can suggest is to look up your ward councilor's details , call him/her with your ref. # received from the reporting call centre,
    Our little neighbourhood is already quite vocal. We've been identified as an area where housing should be made more dense, so the two streets behind me, are seeing blocks of flats popping up everywhere. My street is not zoned for such buildings. That's not going to do our water problem any favours.

  15. #32
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    Jul 2016
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    Default Re: Disputing a ridiculous CoCT water bill?

    In November 2018 I received a water bill for R24,300 from the City of Cape Town (CoCT) claiming that my wife and I had used 112 kilolitres in a 32 day period. My average consumption until then was 4 kilolitres per month. My wife queried the account with the Somerset West Municipality who insisted she sign an “Undertaking To Pay Debt In Monthly Instalments” pending their investigation of a suspected faulty meter (the testing of which we had to pay for!). After trying unsuccessfully to get the Somerset West Municipality to resolve this matter, and after being charged interest on the outstanding amount, I emailed the Chief Financial Officer at the CoCT. He referred the the matter to the Director, Water and Sanitation Department, Mr Michael Webster, who immediately arranged for the meter to be tested. The meter was found to be faulty and was replaced, and our account was credited with all the costs relating to the faulty meter. Send me an email ([email protected]) if you have still not managed to get the matter resolved and I will provide you with the relevant email addresses.

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