Following protest action in Seshego earlier this morning (Thursday), residents marched to Polokwane Municipality’s civic centre to hand over a memorandum of demands to acting Executive Mayor Jeneffer Malope. The memo included a demand for all new smart meters to be removed and all residents to pay a flat rate of R40 per month for basic services. They also insisted that “all bills be cancelled”.
The group of disgruntled residents was led by community representatives Matome Ramabu and William Makgoba. Ramabu alleged that the smart meter system is another mechanism used by municipal officials to loot money. The municipality was given 14 days to respond to the demands and residents threatened that they will remove smart meters themselves if the municipality fails to do so.
Communications and Marketing Manager of Polokwane Municipality, Matshidiso Mothapo said that the installation of smart meters was preceded by a thorough public participation process. He also confirmed that officials of the municipality recently embarked on a programme in terms of which residents of Seshego were afforded an opportunity to come forward with any challenges related to billing. “We went out there and assisted consumers who responded to our call that was widely announced in the media,” Mothapo said.
Mothapo confirmed that the municipality will attend to the contents of the memorandum and provide feedback to the community.
Story and photos: ENDY SENYATSI