The Municipal System Act (No. 32 of 2000) provides that a customer may declare a dispute over a utility bill. No credit control may then be applied under section 102 (2) until the dispute is resolved.
Water, electricity and sanitation forms part of the elementary daily necessities described as part of our constitutional rights. This means not only that a municipality should make provision for delivery of these services but also that the charges to a municipal account holder should be correct always.
Conveyance of inaccurate municipal records remains problematic. At some point many homeowners experience irregularities regarding their accounts which, left unresolved, may even cause credit control being enforced on them.

It comes highly recommended that prepaid electricity meters are installed to keep track of your own personal usage on a day to day basis. Tracking of water usage is becoming more and more important as many municipal account holders receive statements with incorrect data amounting to huge “debt” that is dealt with in controversial ways including sudden discontinued service delivery.
It is important to note that dispute of any amount or item related to accounts, meter readings, payments, prepaid cards, tariffs and charges may be raised.
Filing a written municipal account dispute is the best way to resolve matters in a professional manner.

Write a formal letter to the manager of the specific municipality in which you state the following:

1. Describe the discrepancies as detected in recent municipal statement. Attach a copy of the document accompanied by an evidence number.
2. State in the letter that you know no credit control (termination of services or summons) may be applied until the dispute is resolved.
3. Direct the hand delivered letter to the municipality manager. Make sure to get a signed receipt and proof of conversation with recipient.
4. Email a copy of the complete dispute to:
4.1 The municipal manager
4.2 The financial department
4.3 The local Property Services branch for reference purposes.
5. Stipulate a specific period in which you expect to be contacted to discuss the dispute, also a specified time frame in which the dispute should be handled. Again, request acknowledgement of receipt.
6. Provide a copy to a ward councilor in which you ask for assistance in the matter.
7. Should credit controls i.e. discontinued services or debt collection be imposed without the dispute concluded, the local Property Services branch can be approached for further assistance.
8. To avoid additional unnecessary quarrel, all other charged services should be paid for up to date. Should the matter be referred to court, a clean and up to date account will lend great advantage in your favor.
9. Remain calm and always handle yourself in a professional manner as this will certainly count in your favor.
Once a dispute is filed it should be driven by investigation and negotiation on your part to ensure speedy resolution. In terms of municipal legislation, the municipality must provide one with relevant documentation including a copy of the by-laws as well as a full breakdown of the account for verification of correct data.

Should the Municipality, pending the outcome of the dispute, proceed to disconnect service, one should be able to get a court order to reconnect the services.
Make use of the fax and email details provided on the municipal statement and keep track of dates and times of all correspondence. Tracking of water and electricity supply is essential. Check your account and compare the meter readings regularly. An excellent proof of a meter reading is to photograph the meter and date stamp it. This will prevent any discrepancies or problems when the meter reading was estimated and not read by an inspector.

Please feel free to contact us or visit our website. We are looking forward for a positive response and interaction.
Contact person : Frans Roos
E mail : frans@propservices.co.za
Cell : 0833788826
Website : www.propservices.co.za

Die Wet op Munisipale Stelsels (No. 32 van 2000) maak voorsiening dat ʼn verbruiker dispuut oor ʼn munisipale rekening kan verklaar. Geen kredietbeheermaatreëls mag dan ingevolge artikel 102(2) toegepas word totdat die dispuut opgelos is nie.

Elektrisiteit-, sanitasie- en watervoorsiening is volgens konstitusionele voorskrifte deel van die basiese dienste waarop Suid Afrikaners kan staatmaak teen betaling al dan nie. Daarby ingesluit sekerlik ook die korrekte weergawe van munisipalerekening vir gebruik van dienste.
Uitreiking van korrekte munisipalestate blyk egter ʼn groot uitdaging te wees. Op een of ander stadium word ʼn huiseienaar bedien met ʼn foutiewe staat wat ongewoon hoë uitstaande bedrae toon. Die vermoede is dat meters nie korrek gelees word nie maar dat lesings eerder geskat word. Implimentering van kredietbeheermaatreëls wat die opskorting van dienste insluit, word toegepas as ʼn metode om die rekeninghouer te dwing om dadelik op te treë.
Dit word aanbeveel dat voorafbetaalmeters geïnstalleer word om hierdie probleem hok te slaan maar dit bied nie ʼn oplossing tot oormatige hoë lesings of skattings van water gebruik nie. Dit word al hoe belangriker om tred te hou van waterlesings om te verseker dat die uitgereikte munisipalestate wel daarmee ooreenstem.
Wat in die verbruiker se voordeel tel is die feit dat enige en alle meterlesings, bedrae, tariewe en betalings onder dispuut gebring mag word. Die mees professionele manier om hier te werk te gaan is om skriftelik aansoek te doen om heroorweging van foutiewe rekeninge.

Property Services beveel die volgende proses aan: 

Rig ʼn formele skrywe aan die munisipale bestuurder van die betrokke munisipaliteit waarin u die volgende stel:

1. Verduidelik dat u ʼn probleem het met u rekening deur in besonderhede te gee van wat dié probleme behels. Heg bewyse van u stelling aan en nommer die bewyse.
2. Skryf in die brief dat geen kredietbeheermaatreëls (beëindiging van dienste of dagvaarding) toegepas mag word totdat die dispuut hanteer is nie.
3. Rig die skrywe aan die munisipalebestuurder en lewer dit per hand af en laat ‘n gedateerde ontvangserkenning gedoen word op die afskrif vir bewys en bewaring.
4. E pos afskrifte van die dispuut aan die
4.1 Munisipale bestuurder
4.2 Finansies departement en aan
4.3 Die plaaslike Property Services kantoor vir verwysingsdoeleindes.
5. Versoek ʼn antwoord binne ʼn vasgestelde tydperk en ʼn ontvangserkenning.
6. Gee ʼn afskrif aan ʼn wyksraadslid en versoek hulp.
7. Indien kredietbeheermaatreëls wel toegepas word, naamlik die onderbreking van dienste of die instel van invorderingsaksies, moet u die plaaslike Property Services kantoor nader om die gepaste aksies in te stel om jou regte te beskerm.
8. Maak seker dat u gereeld maandeliks steeds u beraamde verbruik en heffings betaal. Dit sal u in ʼn besonder sterk positiewe lig stel indien die saak vir beregting na ʼn hof verwys word.
9. Tree ten alle tye professioneel op.
Sodra die probleem onder die aandag van die munisipaliteit gebring is sal dit u verantwoordelikheid bly om vordering van die ondersoek gereeld op te volg en aan te dryf om spoedige afhandeling daarvan te verseker. In terme van munisipale wetgewing word die munisipaliteit verplig om afskrifte van alle relevante dokumentasie aan u te voorsien.

Sou die munisipaliteit u dienste opskort sal u met hierdie dokumentasie ‘n hofbevel kan kry teen hulle aksie.
Maak seker dat u die korrekte kontak besonderhede gebruik vir korrespondensie. Maak ook aantekeninge van die betrokke datum en tye van kommunikasie. Dit is baie belangrik om tred te hou van die water- en elektrisiteit lesings om dit te vergelyk met dit wat op u state aangedui word. ʼn Goeie manier om bewyse te lewer van wat die meterlesing werklik is, is die neem van ʼn foto.

Kontak ons gerus of besoek ons webwerf. Ons sien uit na ‘n positiewe reaksie en interaksie.
Kontak persoon : Frans Roos
E mail : frans@propservices.co.za
Cell : 0833788826
Webtuiste : www.propservices.co.za