Gwanda municipality admits to estimate water billing

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Gwanda(Ilanga-New Ziana) -The Gwanda Municipality has admitted that it is using estimates when billing water charges on its customers, a development that has seen residents resisting to settle their bills, thereby compromising service delivery.

This emerged during a recent meeting that the municipality convened to get feedback from residents on the quality of services that it was providing them.

The Municipality admitted that it was using estimates but said it was working towards adopting modern billing systems.

Council engineer Phakamile Ndebele said, “There is a gap noticed that needs to be addressed,” he said.

“Out of 6 639 properties direct water supply reaches 75, 3 percent and 24, 7 percent do not have direct water connection. Prepaid meters are fragile and prone to be damaged as compared to conventional ones and that is why we still have a lot of estimate bills. These are however a disadvantage because residents do not pay on time as compared to prepaid meters.”

Phakamile added that there were several other challenges that council workers faced when reading meters that leave them without any option but to estimate charges.

“Some houses have gates that are always locked and some have dogs and it would be risky to enter, hence they end up estimating readings,” he said.

On water pipe bursts that were being experienced in different parts of the town, Phakamile said that would soon be a thing of the past.

“As for water bursts, software will be installed reflecting the water network of Gwanda indicating where there is a leakage. That way we will attend to the scene swiftly before a lot of water could be lost,” he said.

New Ziana

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