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Mitchells Plain residents accuse housing company of not paying water bills

The community said according to an agreement signed when the development was established six years ago, the company - Cape Town Community Housing - was supposed to pay.

Residents of Harmony Village who are up in arms over high water bills. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Residents of a housing development in Mitchells Plain claim they have been saddled with high water bills and the City of Cape Town is demanding payment.

The claims come amid confusion over who is responsible for the bills.

On Sunday, the community said according to an agreement signed when the development was established six years ago, the company - Cape Town Community Housing - was supposed to pay.

The company, meanwhile, denies this.

In 2013, Cape Town Community Housing built hundreds of homes in Harmony Village to provide affordable access to housing in the area.

Residents said they moved in under an agreement that the company would pay the water bills.

Chairperson of the Harmony Village Association Ihsaan Abrahams said some residents have up to R60,000 water accounts but said it was not their responsibility.

Abrahams said they were receiving water accounts addressed to the company, not individual residents.

“It’s the Cape Town Community Housing that is supposed to take responsibility for this. For five to six yars, none of us has received their water bills, how is it possible for them to now expect us to pay a bill.”

Sub-council 23 chairperson Elton Jansen said he had not seen the agreement yet but has been receiving complaints from residents.

He said the City of Cape Town was in the process of extracting the data in order to deal with the matter.

“According to my understanding, Cape Town Community Housing hasn’t been paying the City of Cape Town the water bill and some of the resident haven’t paid the Cape Town Community Housing. There’s a whole mess up in this triangle.”

The company told Eyewitness News residents signed an Instalment Purchase Agreement that stated the electricity and water costs were the responsibility of residents.

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