Our expert says:
Getting by, slowly and sadly. The lights are still on, but only after a hard-fought battle. I spent a day trying to find any human within the entire Tshwane City COuncil who would answer a phone, and only by a roundabout way through other contcts, reached one single person who insisted on receiving a copy of the death notice before even thinking of postopning the cut-off, based on my mother's supposed enormous debts to the council. These were variously stated at nearly R 8000, then nearly R 12000, then varying between R 25 and 30 000 !
I called a contact at Beeld, who investigated and took note of my story, and prepared a major story for the paper. When they asked the COuncil for comment, They were obviously alarmed ( not concerned for me, of course, but that they might become embarrassed. But a very nice young man came and actually read the meters properly. Soon afterwards, I recevied a sniffy call offering very insincere condolences, and offering to defer the whole matter until end October, when we could meet and discuss what's been going on. He mentioned that on checking these latest readings, they had revised their estimate of the amount owing down to around R 2000. Which happens to be about the amount that would be accounted for by the three floods we had in the house when our pipes and valves were damaged by clumsy and inept COuncil work on water pipes in the area, and which still needs to be credited to us.
The COuncil man offered to confirm the deferral by e-mail, which I recognized was so as to enable him to copy the email to his boss and to the Beeld. I took care to reply to that email, copied to the same people, outlining the many ways in which the Council's current procedures severely penalize the citizens, and some of the many ways in which they could easily relieve this --- marking them as among the issues I want to discuss with him in October/ November, giving him thus plenty of time to look into these and have useful responses for me. I emphasized that my complaint wasn't just about Peggy or myself, but all of their usual victims. I emphasized that "of course" he would want to investigate and start disciplinary proceedings against the fraudulent and dishonest meter readers who had made extravagent "estimates" and had explained their failure to actually read meters as due to my high gate being locked ( when it has no lock and is so low even I could climb over it ) or to fear of my large dog, which has never existed. Now Megamoggy, bless his little furry soul, might have obliged by sinking his elegant teeth into one of these liars, but no such attacks are on record !
Thanks for continuing to care !
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