The City of Tshwane is expanding its ‘Amnesty Project’, which last week targeted Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate in Centurion as part of a citywide initiative to recover lost revenue due to electricity meter tampering.
Selby Bokaba, divisional head of strategic communication at City of Tshwane, said the city will in the next few weeks visit nine other residential estates to take action against all customers who are in arrears or have tampered with their meters.
Bokaba confirmed that the city has started taking action in Sable Hills Waterfront Estate, which is to the north east of Pretoria overlooking the Roodeplaat Dam.
He said the city audited 298 accounts and:
Found 285 meters to be in good condition;
11 meters were found to have been tampered with;
Two conventional meters were replaced with prepaid meters;
There were no accounts in arrears that had to be disconnected.
Other residential estates targeted for action include:
Eldo Park in Eldoraigne;
All extensions of Kosmosdal in Centurion;
Silver Lakes Golf Estate in Pretoria East;
Irene Farm Villages in Centurion;
Amberfield Valley Estate in Centurion;
Sunderland Ridge in Centurion;
Thatchfield Estate in Centurion;
Thatchfield Hills in Centurion; and
Centurion Golf Estate.
Bokaba said the arrears of the top 25 accounts in arrears within the Copperleaf Golf Estate, which was also one of the identified estates and where the city had a successful collection campaign last week, ranged between R200 000 and R500 000.
Of the 600 accounts at Copperleaf the city initially targeted, electricity supply to 96 customers who were in arrears was disconnected, water restrictions due to arrears were actioned at 156 households, and 30 electricity meters were found to have been tampered with. It also replaced 28 conventional meters with pre-paid meters.
A further 279 meters were found to be in good condition.
Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate in Centurion general manager Phineas Thosago disputed the city’s claims that more than 600 homes in the estate were disconnected due to electricity non-payment and illegal connections and claimed none of the houses that were assessed during the operation was found to have illegal electricity connections.
But Thosago confirmed the electricity at 98 of the 1 127 stands in the estate was disconnected due to municipal rates charges owing to the municipality while the conventional meters at 20 homes were converted to new smart meters.
City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo confirmed last week that the campaign was aimed at recovering accumulated debt of R16 million at Copperleaf.
The city’s Amnesty Project and revenue collection drive was initiated because the city owes Eskom more than R1 billion.
Mashigo confirmed last week the city was making daily payments to Eskom and had reduced the arrears to about R850 million by last Tuesday.
Bokaba stressed that tampering fees will be levied to all meters in the city that are found to have been tampered with or illegally connected.
“The city would like to once more encourage consumers who are illegally connected to the electricity and water network to apply for amnesty to avoid fines and criminal charges.
“The amnesty period, which started last month, will end on 30 September 2022.
“Residents and business owners that want to apply for amnesty can download forms from the City’s website www.tshwane.gov.za,” he said.
Read all our Eskom coverage here.