Frequently Asked Questions

General

1Estimations
The only time Sembcorp Silulumanzi uses an estimated reading, is when the meter readers cannot get access to your meter for various reasons as mentioned above e.g. rubble on the meter, car blocking the meter, if the meter is stuck or damaged, etc. The estimated reading is based on six months previous usage to determine the average consumption being used. This is an automated process. Estimated readings are taken in order to keep your account fairly up to date so that when the actual readings are finally taken, the customer may not be faced with a huge bill. After actual readings are taken, it is then subtracted from the last actual reading and this will produce an accurate bill. All the estimations that have been paid in between the two actual readings will automatically be credited to customer’s account, giving an accurate balance on the account.
2Billing
Once the meter has been read, the hand held device is then downloaded onto our system which is then made ready for billing. The billing process goes through a three step check process before it is authorized. This billed information is then printed and mailed out to you.
3Payments
Payments are expected by no later than the 07th of every month. There are various payment options available. You can pay directly at our offices at 18 Nel Street, Bateleur Building, Mbombela City. Cash, cheques and credit cards are welcome or payments can be made at any Easy Pay point facility or payments can be deposited directly or via internet payments into our bank account.

BankABSA
BeneficiaryGNUC/Sembcorp Silulumanzi
Account Nr4053446784
Branch Code632005
ReferenceWATER ACCOUNT NR
Tel. Nr013 752 6839
Fax Nr.013 745 3816

Please take note, customers MUST at all times provide their ACCOUNT NUMBERS as REFERENCE when making payments, as Sembcorp Silulumanzi will not be held responsible if the above is not done and payments are allocated incorrectly.

4Water Leaks

Sembcorp Silulumanzi is not obliged to give credit for water leaks. Customers are responsible for all water consumption that goes through their water meter including leaks that take place after the meter, i.e. on the inside of the meter going towards the property. If water leaks are detected on the inside of your water meter it will be for your responsibility to hire the services of a private plumber and have the leaks repaired as soon as possible. However, Sembcorp Silulumanzi will assist with water leaks, at its discretion in the following manner:

  • Once the leak/s has been detected and repaired, retain your invoice for the cost of the repair and hand it in at our Customer Services Department. We will then keep the invoice on file and monitor your account for three months. After this, if it is established that your water consumption has dropped, Sembcorp Silulumanzi, at its discretion will award with a sewer credit for the period of the leak and charge you an average for what you normally pay for sewer. This average will be calculated using the latest three months’ reading after the leak has been repaired. This credit will not exceed more than four months. Please continue paying your account during this process to avoid any disruption in your water supply. Only one credit will be considered on your account over a twelve months period for water leaks.

In light of the above, if it is found that after you have repaired the leak and your consumption still remains consistent, then no credits will be passed on your account and you will be responsible for settling your account in full.

5Leak Detection
We urge customers to make it a habit at least once every three months to check for internal water leaks. The procedure to do this is simple. Close all taps, ensure geyser and toilet cistern is full and then proceed to your meter. Check the first dial on the right hand side of the meter, if this dial is standing still, then you have nothing to worry about but if you see it turning then there is a possibility of a water leak somewhere. If this is detected you can follow the procedure as mentioned above – asking the advice, assistance of a private plumber, etc.
6Credit Control
Your account will automatically fall into the debt management cycle if you fail to pay your account promptly and on time. Once this happens, a warning letter will be delivered to your physical address of which, you will be charged for. You will then be allowed seven days from date of that letter to come in and pay your account. If you fail to comply within the seven day period, your water supply will be restricted / disconnected. Your water supply will only be connected 24 hours after payment has been received. All payments for disconnected meters are to be made directly at our offices at 18 Nel Street, Bateleur Building, Mbombela City. Only cash and credit cards will be considered for these payments. Cheques will not be considered.
7Letting of your property.
If you intend letting out your property for rental then please ensure you get all the details from our Customer Care Department regarding the rules for properties that are being let out. Please do not ask or send your tenant to Silulumanzi as this is your responsibility as the owner.
8Selling / Buying property

Please take note when selling your property it is your responsibility to notify Sembcorp Silulumanzi and please ensure that the new owner of the property comes into our offices and completes a change of ownership form. As long as the water accounts remain in your name, as the owner, Sembcorp Silulumanzi will hold you responsible for the account up until a change of ownership is done. Sembcorp Silulumanzi will not get involved between disputes as to who will be responsible for paying the water account

When intending or buying any new property, please ensure that the previous owner’s water account has been paid up to date. With regards to the Local Government Systems Act 2000 Section 118. (1)A, this responsibility lies with you and if there are any outstanding money for the water account, you will become liable for it. You are welcome to ask our Customer Care Department for assistance regarding this matter.

9Change of details

The onus lies upon you, as the customer to notify Silulumanzi of any change of details that need to be updated on your account. For example, change of postal address, contact numbers, etc. Accounts not paid due to statements not received, due to incorrect postal details etc, will not be considered as an excuse for non-payment.

If for any reason your statement is not received on time, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care Department who will gladly assist you.

10Customer Care

If you require the assistance of Sembcorp Silulumanzi for any reason, you are welcome to contact our Customer Care Department and they will gladly assist you.

Walk in contact: 18 Nel Street, Bateleur Building, Mbombela City – Opposite Town Council.

Telephone: (013) 752-6839 (24 hrs)

Share-call number: 0861 74 5858

Standby number after hours: 083 269 1455

Fax: (013) 745-3816 or (013) 755-2618

Cell: 083 638 8982

E-Mail: enquiries-silulumanzi@sembcorp.com

Post: PO Box 12753 NELSPRUIT 1200

Website: www.sembcorp-silulumanzi.co.za

11Water Saving Tips
  • Fill a litre flat-based bottle with water. Place the bottle at the bottom of the toilet cistern. Make sure it doesn’t disturb any other moving parts in the cistern or alternatively place two half bricks  in the corners of the cistern, once again make sure it does not disturb any moving parts in the cistern . One of these two processes will ensure you have half a flush for liquids (Urine) which is good enough and you will have to flush twice for solids, full flush (Faeces).
  • In order to check for leaks in your cistern, put a little food colouring in the cistern and take note if the colouring appears in the bowl below without flushing. If the food colouring does appear in the bowl below it means your cistern is not closing properly and you are losing water.
  • Plan your garden. Group plants according to their water needs.
  • Cover flowers / vegetable beds with mulch. Cut grass, leaves, sawdust, tree bark etc. can be used.
  • Grow as many indigenous plants as possible. They need less water.
  • Frequent watering makes your plants shallow rooted and more dependent on you for survival.  Less watering will toughen the grass and your plants and encourage its roots to spread deeper.
  • The leaves of plants and trees do not need to be watered.  You can therefore focus all the water on the roots of the plants and trees to ensure that they absorb all of the water you are giving them.
  • Digging a small trench around the trees in your yard will allow the water to soak in instead of running off.
  • Different varieties of lawn grass have differing water requirements.  Consult your local nursery for varieties that are appropriate to your area.
  • When mowing the lawn, do not cut the grass shorter than 2cm.  If you do, the grass will not have enough leaf area to protect itself from the burning effects of the sun.
  • Use a water-can rather than a hose pipe to water plants.
  • Re-use bath / shower water – if possible.
  • Collect rain water from gutters - if possible.
  • Avoid watering your garden in the middle of the day. The best time to water your garden is early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Wash your car on the lawn / grass if possible.
  • Repair damaged, leaking pipes, taps etc. as soon as they are detected.
  • Do not use toilets as a rubbish bin. This causes you to flush the toilet unnecessarily and is also a major cause of sewer blockages.
  • Take a short shower or a shallow bath. Do not fill your bath to its maximum.
  • Keep a bottle in the fridge for cold water so you don’t have to consistently run the tap for cold water.
  • Don’t allow sprinklers to spray over paths and driveways.
  • Install rain sensitive sprinklers.
  • Do not water your garden unnecessarily during rainy months.
  • Do not water your garden on windy days or during midday.
  • Use a broom to clean paving, courtyards, driveways or pathways rather than a hosepipe.
  • Cover your pool when not in use to save water from evaporating.
  • Don’t let the tap run when brushing your teeth.
  • A tap leaking 50 drops a minute, adds up to 1838 litres a year.
  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing.  Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Avoid washing vegetables under running water.  Use a bowl instead, and afterwards empty it in the garden.
  • If you have a dishwasher, only use it with a full load.
Save water by not using your washing machine daily with a small load.  Try to wash a full load every time
12Did you know?
Flushing a toilet Up to 13 litres of water
Taking a full bathUp to 120 litres of water
A five minute shower Up to 30 litres of water
A dripping tapOne litre every 20 min
Washing dishes in the sink Up to 18 litres of water
Automatic washing machineUp to 265 litres of water
Washing hands under a running tap Up to 5 litres of water
Washing a car with a hosepipeUp to 300 litres of water
Topping up the poolUp to 4000 litres of water

Meter Reading

1How long does a water meter last?
The existing water meters are mechanical devices and retaining their overall accuracy depends on many factors, such as the quality of the water being passed through the meter, the rate of flow and the total quantity of water that has been measured over time. Various conditions that water meters are exposed to prevent any exact time frame for water meter deterioration due to differences in water chemical composition, temperature and humidity.Most studies that have been performed by the water industry have concluded that residential meters should be replaced after 8 to 10 years. At this age the accuracy would have diminished to the point that the cost of meter replacement is less than loss of revenues with continued use of the old meter.
2Why does the accuracy of a water meter diminish?
A water meter like any other mechanical device is subject to wear and deterioration over time. Water meters can over register but this rarely occurs because wear on internal meter parts generally causes lower measurements. It can be assumed that after a certain age the inaccuracy of the meter due to deterioration becomes an economical liability. The potential for revenue loss can be staggering if the system has a large number of meters significantly under-registering.
3Why water meters are replaced?
Sembcorp Silulumanzi has begun a water meter replacement program for those water meters that are over 8-10 years old and have reached the end of their useful life. Water meters typically have a useful life of 8 to 10 years. The mechanics of a water meter slow down over time due to age and wear which results in the water meter not registering water usage accurately.
4What does the water meter measure?
Meters are mechanical devices that record the volume of water passing from Sembcorp Silulumanzi water supply lines to your property. The register on the meter is similar to a car odometer. Just as a car's odometer will not progress if the vehicle doesn't move, the numbers on a water meter register will not move unless there is water flowing through the meter.
5How is the water meter read?
Meters are read manually by meter reader professionals who take great pride in accurately reading the usage indicated on the meter. Meter readers are equipped with a handheld device which allows the meter reader to enter the reading found on the meter. As an accuracy measure, the device is not equipped with the previous reading of any meter.
6Will my water bill increase?
As meters age, they tend to run slower and may not measure all the water passing through the meter. The new meters will simply record consumption more accurately and depending on the age and accuracy of your existing meter, you may experience higher consumption due to the accuracy of the new meter.
7What should I do after the new meter is installed?
You should take this opportunity to check around your property for leaks. Dripping faucets, toilets that leak, and dripping hose bibs have the potential to use a lot of water. You may also want to check your sprinkler timers to be sure you are not over-watering and test each station to see if sprinkler heads are missing or clogged as this too can waste water.
8What about the plumbing from the water meter to my house?
The customer is responsible for the repair of defective plumbing or deteriorating pipes on the customer side of the meter.
9Meter Reading
Sembcorp Silulumanzi reads all customers’ water meters once a month. If your area is being read, for example, on the 04th of the month, then every month it would be continuously read on the same date, irrespective of whether that date falls on a weekend or a public holiday. It therefore becomes your responsibility to ensure that the meter readers have access to your meter at all times.
10Meter Testing

Should you, for any reason, doubt the credibility of your meter reading, then you may request to have your meter tested. The procedure for meter testing is as follows:

Firstly you need to come into our offices and ask any of our full-time Customer Care Officers to have your meter tested. The Customer Care Officer will then advise you of the relevant price for the meter testing, which may then be debited to your account immediately. Further you will need to pay for a new meter which will be installed while your current meter is being sent for testing – this will also be debited to your account immediately.

The meter will be sent to the manufacturer in Johannesburg for testing. Once the results have been received, you will then be informed immediately. Should the meter be found to be registering correctly, then the money that you had paid for the meter testing and the new meter, will be forfeited. However should the meter be found to be faulty, then the money you had paid for the meter testing and the new meter, will be credited to your account immediately. The new meter readings will then be taken over a period of three months and these readings will be used as an average to correct your account accordingly. Please bear in mind that if it is found that the old meter was under registering, then your account will be adjusted to the new meter’s readings, which may result in you receiving a debit on your account that may reflect a higher bill.