A Phoenix pensioner was flabbergasted when she received her February utility bill which reflected an amount of R6.4 million from eThekwini Municipality.

Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, Vasanthee Randhani (65) who lives alone in her Lenham home said, “When I received the bill, I thought it was R6 400. I live alone and have never been charged that amount.

“My monthly statement usually reflects an amount of R1 800 and R2 200 being the highest I’ve ever paid. I then went to the Phoenix rent office to enquire about this high amount and was told at the office that I needed to go to the main office in Verulam, where I will get assisted regarding my bill,” said Randhani. She said she was was later informed by her nephew that the bill actually reflected R6.4 million. “I was shocked and stressed as I couldn’t figure out how this happened.

“I went to the Verulam offices where they confirmed the amount on the bill and said they would look into it. I then approached DLC leader, Councillor Patrick Pillay for assistance as I was really worried about the high amount that reflected on my bill and needed the matter to be rectified and the amount reversed.

After analyzing the bill, Patrick Pillay reassured me that he will assist and take up the matter up with the relevant people,” added Randhani.

Pillay said, “It is unacceptable for the department to continuously make the same mistake at the expense of ratepayers. I have made strong representations to the department to urgently address this anomaly.”

He further stated that he will inform the city manager to institute disciplinary action against officials whom are making these errors. “This week I have attended to a number of matters relative to incorrect water meter reading,” added Pillay.

The eThekwini Municipality said that high bills can be caused by underground water leaks, leaking geysers, excessive water usage, non-payment, late payments, a faulty meter, incorrect meter reading, a leaking meter, illegal connections or not making sufficient payments towards the account as per utility statement.

The municipality advised customers with similar issues to contact the toll free number on 080 1313 013, WhatsApp: 073 148 3477 or email to eservices@durban.gov.za, to enquire about their accounts.