Workshop helps seniors with bills

Seniors were able to get help with their water accounts.

More than 140 seniors gathered at an information session with the City of Cape Town at the Town Centre council offices, where they heard about the City’s indigent grant policy and were helped with their accounts queries.

Ward committee member Carol Mentor said seniors needed clarity on municipal matters.

“Us as older folk do not understand what certain words mean or what is going on with the water crisis. It’s important that sessions like this are carried out for the benefit of the seniors.”

While one resident said the new water meter device was helpful, another said they were still battling with it at home.

Valerie Prins, 65, from Eastridge, said the water meter device had helped her monitor her water usage.

“Last year my water bill was R4 000. I got the water meter device installed and my water bill dropped.”

Rhoda Adams, 67, from Eastridge, said she had the water meter device installed last year.

“My water was switched off for a while. I applied for the indigent grant. The water meter device is still a problem for me and my family as we are still battling with the process.”

Doreen Goliath, 77, from Portland, was angry at the extra R100 she had to pay for water.

“I do not have a water meter device yet I am paying an additional R100 to my water bill. Where is the extra money going to, and why does it need to come from me? R100 is a lot to a person.”

Ward 79 councillor Solomon Philander said some seniors were upset about the basic charges on their accounts.

“A workshop like this is definitely necessary. Account holders came back to thank us for the assistance and showed proof of R0 monthly billing due to the water-saving initiatives during the drought.

“Ek betaal eers my dak en my kerk van my pension voor ek kos koop. This was some comments from our seniors that visited us on the indigent drive. They were very happy to apply for the indigent benefits,” he said.

In other instances, seniors who were diligent in paying their accounts were relieved to hear they may qualify for the indigent benefits, he said.

Mr Philander thanked the community for saving water during the crisis.