Water fines cause anarchy

It seems like local water provider, Siza Water, has got it wrong when it comes to calculating fines. Hundreds of Ballito residents have reduced water usages by far more than 50%, bathing out of buckets, recycling water and managing the daily cut off of water by the provider.

Even although residents have been working hard to work on sparse allocations Siza Water has dished out exorbitant fines that seem to have ignored north coast residents efforts of late.

The fines work on some sort of grading structure where locals who have reduced their water bill to under R150 a month still seem to incur fines in excess of R1000 but the majority of residents seem to have been lumped with a hefty R3000 fine.

A hand full of concerned residents had a meeting today to formulate a plan of action to engage Siza Water to question exactly how they have calculated this first months fines. There is hope that Siza Water will be able to explain.

As hopeful as this is there are many questions water starved residents of Ballito want answered.

Why is VAT being charged on fines and is this even legal?
What will the money from the fines be used for? There is thinking that the fines will be used to repair old, damaged water infrastructure that hasn’t been maintained
Why is Hazelmere Dam so badly affected?

Other people are asking why Ballito once again is experiencing water issues when the town is known to be a holiday hot spot and infrastructure planning has not been thought through. Stanger continues to receive water during the day while some Ballito areas have gone without water for 3 days.

All said and done these fines are not being taken lightly and locals will not pay fines when they are not legal or haven’t been properly calculated.

We look forward to hearing more about this water issue with Siza Water in the coming week.

6th July 2015 : 13:45 | Update Contribution by Marc Forrest

Sembcorp is a multi-billion dollar company based in and listed in Singapore. They are invested in a number of countries around the world with a net profit over S$801 million last year.

Sembcorp manage treatment & provide water treatment to 2 municipalities in South Africa (Ballito & Nelspruit)

Sembcorp are also apparently world leaders in the development of desalination plants across the world. This is what they specialise in!!

All this info is publicly available -> http://www.sembcorp.com/
Info about the notice of the fines is available at -> http://www.sembcorp-sizawater.co.za/cms/images/wru_fines.pdf which was only created on the 25th June 2015, 9 days before the accounts were sent out to account holders on the 3rd July 2015.

These fines are purely a profit making endeavour for Sembcorp and should not be tolerated. These fines will not be used to alleviate the water issues or restrictions, but will go straight into profit.

The Managing Director of Sembcorp Siza South Africa, is Mr Shyam P Misra -> shyam.misra@sembcorp.com

Sembcorp need to be accountable in every which possible way as to why and how these fines have been implemented.

6th July 2015 : 15:25 | Update Contribution by Marc Forrest

In terms of Section 62 of Local Government: Municipal Systems Act (Act No 32 0f 2000) (http://mfma.treasury.gov.za/…/Local%20Government%20…) everyone has a right to appeal the fine 21 days from date of issue of the fine.

Once the appeal has been
logged , the customer is not liable to pay the fine until an appeal process has taken place. This means, they cannot enforce the fine without a logical explanation

My suggestion is that the reason for appeal should be “Affordability”
If everyone logs an appeal, every single appeal needs to go through a process to show its validity.

Click here to download the appeal document

3 Comments

  1. C van der merwe

    06/07/2015 at 10:57

    My kids and some friends are back from Varsity for almost a month of course im going to use more water now i get fined for having my kids for a holiday.
    I must pay for their bad/lack of planning
    See you in court

  2. nat

    06/07/2015 at 13:51

    This is unbelievable and has reached news abroad. Family members have cut their water usage, and, bills show they have low usage of water, they share one Bath of water between five, cannot have a glass of water to drink during the day, pay their account & are still fined over R3000. What has happened to basic human rights. I hope the water company is taken to court & has the water drained out of them. It is disgusting.

  3. Cristine Loubser

    06/07/2015 at 21:59

    Siza water says they take the average water consumption from June to Sept 2014 and we need to reduce those kilolitres by 35% . That’s fine for those who were using 50 kilolitres and have to reduce it, but for those already using 15 or less and have been frugal for months can’t in a family of 4 or 5 drop to 8 kilolitres ! Where is the bench mark ?? Siza water, you stuffed up and as rate payers and tax payers we refuse to cough up for your incompetence and lack of planning !!

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