The Blantyre Water Board (BWB) has raised some of its administrative charges effective September 1 2012.
The increase follows the recent upward adjustment of water tariffs by an average of 39 percent effective 1 August.
BWB spokesperson Innocent Mbvundula said in an e-mail response the charges are meant to cover some servicesâ€™ cost.
â€œThese administrative charges do not entail that we have raised all the service charges. While we have raised some charges, in others we have just realigned them. I should state that these are administrative charges and the money directly goes to cover the cost incurred in rendering a particular service.
â€œPreviously, meter rentals were charged either as industrial customers or domestic customers. All those that were not in the domestic category were charged as industrial customers and were charged on the same rate,â€ said Mbvundula.
He said the charges included punishments to customers who by-pass meters or illegally reconnect water supply.
â€œSome of the charges on the updated list of administrative charges are avoidable charges. For instance, penalties associated with meter tampering, meter bypass, self reconnection and dishonoured cheques can be avoided and they have higher charges to deter people from getting involved in these practices.
â€œA penalty of K10 000 [about $33] has been added to the list of charges for dishonoured cheques… The highest charges of K20 000 [about $66] to K40 000 [about $133] on the list are charges connected with inappropriate behaviour that include meter tampering, meter bypass and illegal connection,â€ he said.