Elderly residents of Soshanguve have given the city of Tshwane 14 days, to sort out the grievances they raised when they marched to the metro headquarters earlier this week. Residents demanded that the metro scrap all their previous debts and allow them to buy electricity directly from Eskom.
“We want to deal with Eskom directly. If you owe the metro and buy pre-paid electricity for R100, they take R60 and you will only get R40 worth of electricity. We want to stop this,” said Flora Chauke, who spoke on behalf of the residents.“We also want them to stop with providing us with rubbish bins that we have to pay R348 a month to use. “We want them to provide us with black bags which the waste management will come and collect on specific days.”
“Regarding the water issues, we want them to hire the unemployed youth of Soshanguve to do the meter readings and stop this thing of giving us this estimated prices.” Chauke said the metro’s tariffs were “too high for people who mostly depend on SASSA grant,” “We want to buy electricity directly from Eskom because the municipality tariffs are too high. One week the bill is R4 000 and the following week the bill jumps to R8 000. In a few months, the bill is R24 000. When you go to the office you are told to pay whatever you have. I only survive on grants and R200 is the only amount I can afford.”
“In Soshanguve, we do have a problem paying rates like other places. We feel that because we are compliant, we are taken advantage of.” “If we tamper with electricity connections no one can cut the connections from our houses. We want the metro to let us deal directly with Eskom.”
Chauke said the residents are also fed up with the metro’s response when it comes to service delivery issues. “You report a leaking meter or a drain spillage today and they only come after a month. When you get the bill, they also demand you to pay for the water wasted because of the leak.”
MMC Dana Wannenburg said it was “a good thing” that the elderly voiced their concerns. “Service delivery is extremely important and we have to solve these problems. Some of the issues in their memorandum will take longer to resolve and some do not have to take long to resolve like water leaks. It is unacceptable for a water leak to take too long to be fixed.” “They wanted seven days, but I told them it is impossible because of all the different departments that have to comment on the issues they have raised,” said Wannenburg about the residents’ demand for a speedy response.
By: Mpho Khena.