Prepaid water meters to reduce wastage in Wilgehof

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Mangaung residents in Wilgehof were recently baffled by the installation of prepaid water meters in their suburb. Residents queried the installation of these water meters, stating that they had not been informed. They were also concerned that the people who were installing them were not doing so correctly.
Residents claimed that some pipes had burst during installation, which flooded some streets, inconveniencing them while most were concerned that often there was no one home when the meters were being installed and that they did not know how these prepaid water meters work.
Mangaung Metro spokesperson, Qondile Khedama, said a number of municipal entities or properties have had pre-paid water meters installed. He said the system that is currently being installed will encourage residents to be more careful regarding the usage of water. “The reason we are installing the pre-paid meters is that we are trying to make sure that firstly, we save water, but also that people take responsibility in making sure that we do save water.”
He added the system that is being installed will also ensure a more accurate water bill. People can monitor the amount of water they use, as it will come from the set amount paid by users. “It means your account will be accurate. It means we’ll be able to identify leaks because we’ll be using new technology.”
Households that form part of the indigent register that have been receiving 10 kilolitres of water for free every month, will continue to receive it as usual. Khedama said the municipality will only start the installation process once it has the consent of the home owner. The municipality will also introduce an informational campaign to residents through the ward councillors and the municipal finance department.
Khedama added that the safety of residents has also been taken into consideration as the municipality is aware that there might be chancers who might make use of the opportunity to trick residents through criminal activities. “We will be making sure that the ward councillors have the information, so that when the service providers approach households, they know exactly who they are. And we will also make sure that you are able to identify them in case any problems occur.” – Seithati Semenokane 
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za