Pensioner faces huge bill after leak

Stanley Breakfast shows clean water which leaked into his yard. Attempts to report the leak failed and he now faces a huge water bill
Picture: Fredlin Adriaan

A Nelson Mandela Bay pensioner, who claims he has been reporting a water leak on his property for several years, has been slapped with a whopping R83 000 municipal bill, but has vowed not to pay.

Originally, Stanley Breakfast, 69, lived at 40 Nqini Street in Steve Tshwete, Motherwell, but 15 years ago his son Aubrey decided to relocate from Port Elizabeth and asked his father to take ownership of his home at 38 Nqini Street.

Five years ago, the water meter in the yard at No 38 started to leak, but Breakfast says several attempts to bring the problem to the attention of the municipality proved futile.

Breakfast said municipal employees had sent him from pillar to post. He had even visited the office of mayor Athol Trollip twice, but a security guard had turned him away, saying he must write a letter or make an appointment.

On a visit to Nqini Street, donkeys could be seen drinking water coming from Breakfast’s yard while residents with buckets were collecting water for their own use.

The leak was finally fixed last Saturday – after Weekend Post had made an inquiry to the municipality.

But Breakfast is still saddled with the exorbitant water bill and receives constant SMS warnings that if he does not settle the R83 111.70 water bill, the service will be terminated.

“Where will I get this amount of money? I will not pay.

“I am a pensioner – I cannot afford to pay. I brought this matter to them, but they dragged their feet. I do not understand how the meter readers obtained the readings without first noticing this leak,” Breakfast said.

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the municipality took complaints of water leaks seriously and every effort was made to investigate and fix leaks.

“Budget and treasury [department] is investigating the matter.

“Part of the solution is for Mr Breakfast to approach our offices so that we can get to the bottom of the matter. Something is very wrong here,” Mniki said.

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