Soweto pensioners pay as little as R50 a month for electricity

2015-05-14 17:24
(Naledi Shange, News24)

(Naledi Shange, News24)

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Soweto residents, ANC march against Eskom's prepaid meters

2015-05-14 16:50

Watch as Soweto residents & ANC members protest against power cuts that have been taking place across the township.WATCH

Johannesburg - Some Soweto residents pay as little as R50 for their monthly electricity usage.

It might not sound like much to some, but for residents like 60-year-old Julia Mpunzi, a pensioner who lives in White City Jabavu in Soweto, it's a sizeable chunk out of her budget.

She was in favour of last weekend's march against Eskom's power cuts in Soweto.

"I support them because some of us pay our electricity bills every month with our monthly grant money, but they still switch our lights off," Mpunzi told News24. She was speaking in Diepkloof, Soweto, on her way home from a clinic.

Hundreds of people from Soweto and surrounding areas marched from the Hector Pietersen Square in Orlando to Eskom's regional offices in Diepkloof.

The march, organised by the ANC's Johannesburg branch, was in support of Soweto residents who complained about the weekend's power cuts that lasted for up to ten hours in some areas.

Mpunzi said Eskom should conduct door-to-door inspections to identify defaulters.

"A lot of people in Soweto don't pay for electricity, but we pensioners pay R50 a month. I wish Eskom would check on those who don't pay and switch their lights off instead."

She said Eskom officials visited White City, where she lives, to check which households had not yet installed the new meter boxes.

"We don't have them [at our house] and we don't want them."

Mpunzi shares her home with her 80-year-old father, brother and four nephews. Only one family member was employed, she said.

"That R50 a month covers all of us".

Thabo Mtela, who lives in Killarney near Orlando, also came out in support of the march.

The 32-year-old had a leg injury which cost him his job several years ago. He has been surviving on a disability grant ever since.

Carrying an ANC poster and walking with a limp, Mtela said he was marching in protest against Eskom's constant power cuts in the township.

"I came to complain about these power cuts that are affecting us. Soweto is hardest hit."

He said he lived with his mother, his sister and her four children. The electricity bill is paid out of his mother's pension.

"All seven of us are unemployed."

Read more on:    eskom  |  johannesburg  |  load shedding

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