Consumers not billed for electricity for ten years

2015-06-18 06:00

MAYOR Danny Jordaan’s unpaid electricity account of 7 years, owing to a faulty meter, is not an isolated case with some accounts in the Nelson Mandela Metro going unchecked and faults not repaired for over 10 years - in some cases owing to the unavailability of replacement meters.

This is according to Nelson Mandela Bay’s municipal service provider, Amat, who say there are many cases where customers have not been billed by the Metro, some cases dating back more than 10 years.

Amat has a three-year contract with the municipality to develop strategies that will curb electricity theft, and reduce revenue loss from electricity by R50 million each year.

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal spokesperson, Roland Williams, confirmed to Die Burger (a sister news paper to the UD News) on Sunday that Jordaan’s case was not an isolated one and that they were investigating why repairs were not carried out to the meter for seven years despite the fault being reported. He also said that Jordaan paid the bill in full on Friday, but declined to mention the amount.

Amat’s project manager, Mthu Ntlangani, said they had mostly identified the problem of unpaid billing in the Uitenhage area.

“The Metro is well aware of these cases and measures are being put in place in line with the current contract of Amat,” said Ntlangani.

Ntlangeni said there were several issues related to billing that Amat encountered during the first phase of the project ranging from budget constraints within the Metro, to customers in Uitenhage who were not billed owing to temporary supply.

“Our field teams, in most cases, had to stop disconnections owing to unavailability of replacement meters. In Uitenhage many of the customers are not billed as they have a temporary supply and have legal bypasses from the Metro, so the issue is not new to the Metro as Amat has been raising this issue with the Executive Director of Electricity and Energy for some time now,” he said.

This comes after reports that Mayor Danny Jordaan had not been billed for his electricity for 7 years as his meter was left unfixed.

According to Williams, Jordaan reported a problem with the meter. “They were paying by debit order for a while because they weren’t living here. When they realised there was a problem, they informed the municipality, and someone was sent to the house but did not fix the meter for some reason. The problem was reported a few more times. We are currently investigating why it was never fixed. When the family moved back, they informed us again. The meter is now in working order,” said Williams

“We calculated the family’s debt for the seven years’ worth of bills, and it was paid in full on Friday,” Williams added.

Ntlangeni said Amat was busy finalising the second phase of the project which would address most of those issues, as they had been identified by their field teams.

He said in their first year their report showed a recovery of 53GWh, which Amat has managed to save for the Metro. “Amat is busy with the implementation of the second phase of the project which will see the Metro making some serious improvements on its revenue base.”

Ntlangeni said they were busy with a second phase focus where tariff investigation would be conducted to ensure that the tariff was properly aligned to the Eskom tariff.

Large Power Users who constitute 60% of the total energy consumed by the Metro will be scrutinized

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