City Power warns customers following R2bn annual loss from vandalism, meter tampering

City Power warns customers following R2bn annual loss from vandalism, meter tampering

City Power says it is facing a huge challenge of stemming the tide of non-technical losses, negatively affecting revenue collection and service delivery.

illegal connections Eskom electricity

This comes after the power utility posted a R2 billion annual loss as a result of vandalism, damage to infrastructure, meter tampering, illegal connections and theft of electricity.


In the last financial year, the power utility also recorded 16 fatalities and several injuries from illegal activities on its network. 


This includes tampering with earth leakages in private homes.


Spokesperson Isaac Mangena says City Power plans to impose steep fines on those who connect to the power grid illegally in an effort to recoup non-technical losses.


“Legislators have agreed on the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1997 and Criminal Matters Amendment Act of 2015 to empower the courts impose the harsher sentences on criminals who tamper with the national infrastructure.


“The amendment allows for the imposition of a severe penalty, which includes a maximum imprisonment of up to 30 years for the offender and a minimum sentence of not less than three years behind bars.


“Meter tampering is a crime and a fraud. It may result in criminal charges being laid against an offender. City Power is legislated under municipal bylaws to cut electricity of the offender and remove their cable and circuit breaker and for a prepaid customer a meter as well,” Mangena adds. 


City Power warns offenders will have to pay a reconnection fee penalty of between R10,000 and R50,000 when they apply for a reconnection.


“The move also comes after the fatal electrocution a couple of newly-weds lost their lives in Crosby during which City Power discovered that their rented house had a tampered meter and a missing earth leakage.


A total of 52 operations were conducted by the power utility in the previous financial year to remove illegal connections.


More than 17 000 non-paying customers owing R1.2 billion were cut off from the grid. 

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