Group to march for 200kWh free basic electricity

2011-11-02 00:00

A LOBBY group, which calls itself the Electricity Action Group, has vowed to march against the Msunduzi Municipality’s failure to implement the 200kWh free basic electricity to prepaid households.

Samkelisiwe Nyanda from Dambuza said they have been demonstrating outside the city hall and the A.S. Chetty building for two weeks now because they are demanding that the municipality immediately give them their promised free basic electricity.

The march will be held on Wednesday, November 9.

“Today we handed over an open letter to the office of the Msunduzi Mayor, Chris Ndlela, regarding our unhappiness at the delay by the municipality to implement this service to the poor,” said Nyanda.

The group, with membership from Edendale, Snathing, Dambuza, Crossing, Imbali, Peacevale, Ashdown, Sobantu and Cinderella Park, wrote an open letter to request the mayor’s immediate intervention.

Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said, “There are a lot of people who still have to comply with the notice. We are taking stock and updating our records.

“We will act appropriately as indicated in the notice once we have taken complete stock of responses. It’s only been a month since the deadline expired. So we have to deal with this process and complete it in order to then effect the free units …”

He said in July they issued a notice to alert people that they must visit the A.S Chetty building to sign an agreement for payment of all arrears (including other services like water, rates etc) for periods of up to a maximum of five years in the case of indigent persons, and 12 months in the case of other consumers.

“Acknowledging that the municipality will charge an average of 100 units per month on the debtor’s account for a period of six months, which must be paid with immediate effect, or the consumer must enter into an agreement for payment,” he said.

Zuma said failure to comply will result in the connection to the houses being removed as from September 1 onwards.

“To reconnect, payment of electricity charge and cost of disconnection and reconnection must be paid,” he said.

A customer will not be allowed to enter into an agreement for a period in excess of three years.

“The audit team will check all bridged pre-paid meters and re-commission faulty meters. All current meters will be replaced with remote metering once protective structures are installed,” added Zuma.

• thobani.ngqulunga@witness.co.za

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