First Look Blog

Articles written by the First Look team.

Back-dated Electricity and Water Invoices

Published by Ken Nunes on 29/08/2015

Over time, most schools would have received an Electricity or Water invoice, detailing consumption and costs back-dated to maybe 2, 3 or even 4 years. The bills extends to 3 or more pages (and we have seen 8 pages), detailing “reverse of interim charges” over the period, which invariably results in a bill of hundreds of thousands of Rand and in some cases over R1million.

Whilst the Municipality may well be in their “legal” rights to do this, it is an impossible practise to justify.

The effect on a school, (constantly battling to keep up to date with utility payments), to suddenly receive a demand for payment of R1,537,606.92 (value taken from an actual "back-dated" invoice), detailing utility costs over the period between 2011 and 2015, is at minimum insensitive, immoral and (it must be said) quite unprofessional.

With the issue of schools accountability very much in the news, surely we need to do better than this...