Community up in arms against prepaid meters

2011-07-08 07:00

An angry community of Chiawelo gathered at the Chiawelo Community Centre to present representatives from the City of Johannesburg, Eskom and other stakeholders with their grievances at a meeting in Soweto today.

The community went up in arms earlier this week burning newly elected councillor Johannes Nemaungani and former councillor Mirriam Ramafola’s houses in protest of prepaid electric boxes installed in their homes.

Chiawelo residents are complaining of exorbitant electricity tariffs they have been paying ever since prepaid electricity boxes were installed there in 2007.

Some have raised concerns about Nemaungani having been forced down on them without being consulted.

Nemaungani was even booed by the community as he tried to introduce himself.

The disgruntled community threaten to take the issue up with the ANC at Luthuli House.

A member of the community, who refused to be named, said that more violence would follow if the issue of electricity was not sorted out.

“The issue is not that we do not want to pay for electricity but that it is way too much and we cannot afford it,” he said.

He said he was spending at least R3 000 on electricity per month.

Most people City Press spoke to corroborated the claim, saying that electricity cost them about R100 per day.

An elderly woman at the meeting called on Eskom not to try and fix the “problematic” green boxes but remove them.

Members of the community carried placard, which read: “Away with the green boxes. Chiawelo is not a laboratory for your expensive experiment.”

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