Hundreds of residents queued at Nelson Mandela Bay municipal pay centres yesterday to settle their accounts after 3 400 prepaid meters were blocked this week.
The metro was flooded with requests to unblock residents’ meters, causing major delays before account holders were able to purchase prepaid electricity.
The municipality said on Tuesday that 3 400 prepaid meters with a collective debt of about R17.5-million had been blocked.
The municipality’s political head of budget and treasury, councillor Retief Odendaal, said the centres were extremely busy and flooded with people who were rushing to pay their bills to unblock their meters.
There were, however, a few teething problems due to technical issues with the computer systems, Odendaal said.
“This has never been done before on such a scale. But we are working around the clock to deal with technical issues and we would like to apologise to residents for delays.
“We have to ensure that our systems [are] up to scratch and ready, but we have to push through.
“As residents, you have a duty to pay your accounts. There is some unhappiness from our consumers and there will be resistance.
“It is a painful process, but we have no choice,” Odendaal said.
He encouraged account holders to contact the municipal help desk to query their bills.