War on power theft

2011-03-25 00:00

THE Hibiscus Coast Municipality (HCM) has given a warning to residents who continue to steal electricity through illegal connections, saying they will be criminally charged and publicly named and shamed.

“Izinyoka”, as they are commonly known, have no place in the community and they will be dealt with if caught, said Simon Soboyisa, the senior manager for mayoralty and communications at the HCM.

“Our preliminary investigation shows that this is rife in and around Marburg and Port Shepstone and the observation is that most of these perpetrators are prominent businesspeople and personalities.

“The municipality cannot let a situation where honest and loyal ratepayers subsidise other people who do not want to pay for what they have consumed in terms of electricity.”

Soboyisa added that while the municipality will impose heavy fines and other penalties on the perpetrators, criminal charges will also be laid and they will be publicly named and shamed so that “the public can see how parasitic they are”.

“We advise the perpetrators to stop now as the net is closing on them, and they will get no mercy once the process of dealing with them is started as of April 1.”

He also warned certain tenants who are renting out municipal properties: “These people are given three months as from today to ensure that they register utility bills in their names as the HCM will not pay for something not related to municipal operations.”

“We would also like to advise those property owners who refuse access for our meter readers that they do so at their own peril as the only option we have is to use estimates and the likelihood is that the bill may be inflated to their disadvantage.”

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