Public Protector

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Public Protector helps man municipality overcharged by more than R32k

The City of Tshwane charged a man for a 240-litre bin for more than 14 years despite his complaints. He turned to the Public Protector last year and the problem was sorted.

Public Protector

Photo: Twitter / @PublicProtector

The Public Protector of South Africa has helped a Gauteng man that was overcharged for refuse removal by his municipality for more than 14 years get back the money owed to him. The man was charged R43 000 over the time period in question as he was billed for a bin more than double the size of the one actually supplied by the municipality.


The Public Protector said the man approached their office in November 2020 and said that the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality gave him an 85-litre refuse bin in 2006. The municipality, however, had allegedly been charging him for a bin “that was more than twice the capacity he signed up for.” As a result, the man was overcharged by approximately R173 every month for 170 months.

“He told the Public Protector that he had brought the fact that he had been made to pay for a 240-litre bin to the attention of city officials on several occasions,” said the Chapter nine institution. “However, all his complaints seemingly fell on deaf ears as the problems did not go away.”

The City of Tshwane reportedly admitted that they were in the wrong in response to the Public Protector’s queries. According to their adjustments, the man had overpaid by more than R30 000 between 2006 and 2021 – this amount was then credited to the man’s municipal account.

“This account has a credit amount of R32 768, 41 and will be used towards the monthly consumption until the credit runs out,” said the City on 24 May 2021 in correspondence with the Public Protector.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the hard work,” said the man in a letter to the Public Protector’s office. He thanked them for their service and confirmed that the municipality had made the necessary adjustments to his account.

The office encourages South Africans to report maladministration complaints if all else fails. Walk-ins at their 18 branches across the country are suspended but complaints may be emailed to