To allow all households to cope with the total confinement which lasted from March 31 to May 18, 2020, the Congolese government decided, among other measures, to take care of the electricity and water bills for all households. However, consumers have received invoices for the period concerned in recent days and are parading at the counters of the Société l’énergie électrique du Congo (2EC) to pay them. They accuse the said company of trampling on the government measure. However, the 2EC Company ensures that free services will be taken into account in future billings.
Housewife Laurence Loko is sweating at the approach of the agency where she has to pay the bi-monthly March-April bill that she did not actually expect because for her, this bill should be taken care of by government due to containment. But, in the end, she paid almost, and with great regret, the same amount as in January-February.
” We paid as usual. Because in January-February we paid 22 000 CFA francs and more and the same goes for this invoice. Nothing has changed. The gratuity is observed nowhere. Nothing was done. Government Must Keep Promise To People “Laments Ms. Loko.
Guy-Richard Olaba, a prepaid subscriber, does not understand anything about the maneuvers of the energy company. ” I didn’t get free. I went to the agency on the 18th, the day of the deconfinement. And when I got there the agents told me it was too late. Something I did not understand, for them my gratuity had already passed. They told me that I had to go and validate it in full deconfinement. They told me categorically that I would not benefit from it. ”
Executive Secretary of the Congolese Observatory for Consumer Rights, Mermans Babounga, has registered several complaints from household officials. ” Well ! This is something that we have all seen. Between billing period and consumption period these are concepts which are still complex. ”
The invoiced period does not necessarily correspond to the consumption period, explains Cyriac Abdon Mossongo Moudzanga, commercial director of the Société l’énergie électrique du Congo who is taking all the necessary measures, in order to grant free delivery next billing.
” There is no ambiguity and we want to reassure customers (consumers) that they will indeed benefit from their support by the State. However, this support will be done sequentially simply because we do not bill all consumption at the same time Assures Mr. Mossongo Bondzanga.
Free or paid, the electricity supply remains marked by load shedding and long outages observed day or night.