Monday, 28 May 2012

How to...change the the water and electricity when you move house, in South Africa

By now you should know where your municipality department is. You will have gone there to set up your utility accounts and wasted days of your life in the queues to query a bill on more than one occassion.

I visited the offices last week to ask what to do and how to do it.

Here is what happened.

HER: Fill this form in (walks off)

ME: mmmmm excuse me

HER: if you wnat to cancel your contract, fill this in (walks off)

ME: (finger on buzzer) I don't want to cancel I want to transfer to new address

HER: you have to cancel (walks off)

ME: (finger on buzzer)

HER: (pokes head round door, pokes head back inside door)

ME: (finger still on buzzer, new woman comes out) excuse me I'm moving house next week I don't know what to do, can you help me please?

HER: you have to cancel old contract, fill in that form, then open new account (gives me new form) and pay new deposit

ME: what do I need?

HER: Just your ID

ME: it's in hubbies name, what do i need?

HER: just your ID, copy of contract for house and copy of hubbies ID

And sorted????

So I return a few days later, forms have been filled in and hubby has signed them (ahem) I have a certified copy of the rental agreement, certified copy of hubbies ID (in colour) my ID and copy, letter from company to say we are the tenants of the property, cash for the new deposit in case the card machines aren't working.

Sign in at desk, sit and wait, called after an hour, existing contract cancelled, what's left of deposit will be refunded after last months bil has been deducted (holds breath) and here comes the next problem.

HER: we need a copy of your husbands bosses ID

ME: frantic emails sent, phone calls made to disturb meeting, colour ID sent, forwarded on (free wifi)

HER: gives me statement to make payment of new deposit

ME: stand in queue for an hour (card machine working) return to waiting room, sit for a further hour as I'm now back of the queue...

I still have meter readings to take and submit on the moving day, which will invole another visit (don't get me started on the email and telephone process) trust me it's quicker to visit in person, even if it does involve 2 visits and a 3 hour wait.


  1. I am never ever ever ever ever going to move house.

    1. or you could employ me, theres nothing i dont know

  2. Once again you have far more patience than I think I could have in SA.