Eskom and City Power vow to continue to crack down in illegal electricity connections

Johannesburg – Eskom and City Power say they will continue to clamp down on illegal connections in Gauteng – whether they be in gated estates or informal settlements.

The power utility recently did an audit in the plush Waterfall estate in Midrand where some residents had connected to the electricity.

According to Eskom’s Ronel Kotze, a total of 219 points were audited and six illegal connections found.

Kotze said the audits were conducted based on low consumption on the meters. She said some property developers had connected to the network while the property was under construction and failed to follow the process to apply for temporary supplies.

She said the customers were disconnected on the same day and remedial notices issued.

“Two such incidents were found on site. Revenue recovery is done on these accounts and the customers are billed for the lost consumption.”

Kotze added that one customer who had illegally connected himself was billed R415,683 and fined R45,000.

“Eskom is losing millions per year due to illegal connections to the network. We find that customers are prepared to pay someone to illegally connect them rather than to pay Eskom for the consumption,” said Kotze.

City Power’s Isaac Mangena said the power utility was losing about R2bn in non-technical losses, which included illegal connections.

He said this money lost could have been invested in infrastructure to ensure “sustainability in supply”.

“But because of these illegal connections, we are losing billions. You can imagine how serious it is. It inconveniences not only the residents, but also the businesses community.

“When we have illegal connections across the city, we get to a point where we have overloading of the network or breakdown of the infrastructure.”

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