South Africa

Legal action to become the norm for connecting power illegally warns Tshwane

The metro has found that 172 homes have no meters and so are receiving electricity illegally.

The discovery was made during a metro debt collection campaign, which seeked to institute legal action for tampering and not settling utility debts.

Metro spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the majority of those bust offered to buy electricity legally.

“This means some made an arrangement to pay in instalments, while others settled their arrears in full,” he said.

The #TshwaneYaTima is removing illegal connections across the city.

Mashigo said a fine for tampering has bene implemented to discourage illegal connections, and that customers who settle their accounts are immediately reconnected to the power grid.

“The city is however finalising the sourcing of legal opinions, so that in the next financial year, the tampering of prepaid meters will be accompanied with criminal cases opened against the beneficiary of such consumption.”

He said the metro has devised a plan and set aside resources to find and remove illegal connections and residents are invited to blow the whistle on these.

“It is encouraging that many residents are reporting illegality around their neighbourhood,” he said.

Mayor Cilliers Brink urged people with illegal connections to approach the municipality before they are caught.

 

MMC for finance Jacqui Uys said on May 3 that Tshwane metro police arrested a Pretoria Central resident for illegally connecting his property to the electricity grid.

Uys said the resident faced charges of tampering with municipal infrastructure and theft of electricity.

“Earlier, two Garsfontein home owners and a former Tshwane contractor were arrested for tampering with municipal infrastructure and theft of electricity.

“The city also opened a criminal case against a Centurion shopping centre in March for a similar offence,” said Uys.

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