Prepaid water system too expensive for Johannesburg tenants

The prepaid water system was not working in their favor as they ended up paying R150-200 for prepaid water tokens per day. Photo: Supplied


Tenants at the Xanadu complex in Windsor East, north of Johannesburg, have been left dry after the corporate body reportedly introduced a new water billing system without consulting them or landlords.

According to some of the owners, corporate body Xanadu, the prepaid water scheme was not working in their favor as they ended up paying R150-200 for prepaid water tokens per day.

This prepaid system means that the consumer buys a water credit in the form of a water token. When entered into the user interface unit (located in the consumer’s home), the token instructs the water management device to let a certain amount of water pass through the meter before closing.

Henry Mhlongo, the owner of one of the units in the complex, said he bought a R450 water voucher which only lasted eight days.

Mlongo said:

It is very bad because we need water. That’s life, after all, but now it leaves a deep hole in our pockets. When we were billed by the City of Johannesburg (COJ), I was paying around R300 per month. We tried to have a meeting with Mzukisi Mgxashe, the president of the Xanadu corporation, but he refused to meet the residents of the complex.

Another tenant, Thamsanqa Moyo, said he spent R400 on prepaid water tokens, which only lasted five days.

“I don’t understand this new billing because I’m still at work and I don’t come home until very late at night. The least they could do was consult with us and explain how this billing works. How do we now pay so much for water? ” He asked.

Another resident, who asked not to be identified, said she spent 150 rand, which lasted her four days.

This prepaid system is very confusing because you find that two people spend the same amount to buy water tokens, but get different credits. We now have to take our clothes to the laundry, which we hadn’t budgeted for. Our children will come home to find the taps dry and we have toilets to flush.

Some tenants said they were told that the reason for switching to prepayment was that other landlords apparently did not pay fees for the building, so it could be that when buying water they deduct a certain percentage because they were due.

When contacted for comment, Mgxashe said that as trustees they had no contracts with the tenants and most of them did not follow the corporate rules. He then asked that newspaper to send out an email to share with other trustees so they could respond when needed.

“The Crispy Answer [is that] the tenants and landlord of one of your sources have received proof of contact. The landlord was also copied in the minutes from the 2021 AGM, and she apologized for not sharing with her tenant as she struggles to read emails.

“We did a courtesy later and informed the tenant this year. The essence of the move to prepaid water metering is driven by the fact that we are tired of subsidizing tenants who do not comply with our insurance policy due to overcrowding and exposing ourselves to the COJ,” he said. he answered.

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