Johannesburg’s water and sanitation provider, Johannesburg Water, released a statement admitting inflating water rates in April and May 2020 due to incorrect meter readings.
On Monday, 11 May 2020, Johannesburg Water released a statement claiming responsibility for overcharging ratepayers for the month of April 2020. In the statement, the City of Johannesburg entity explains that the inflated rates were due to “accounts billed based on estimated consumption after pictures of metre readings were submitted,” which were “in excess of the standard 30 days.”
This meant that rates charged in May and April 2020 included water usage for the month of March 2020 or preceding months, as the service provider did not specify how far back the supposed overcharging started. Johannesburg Water now says customers who have “experienced any of these errors” are urged to pay their “normal monthly consumption bill”, and hopes to resolve the matter in the June 2020 water bills.
In response, some residents took to the entity’s social media accounts to voice their continued frustration with the water and sanitation provider. Many highlighted that the incorrect estimation by Johannesburg Water is a perennial challenge and found it ironic that while the service provider is at fault, it now seeks to rectify the supposed mistake without consulting the affected ratepayers.