Electricity HQ swoop

2010-08-21 00:00

GROWING evidence of collusion between businesses allegedly stealing electricity and municipal insiders is emerging.

This led to a swoop by a team of forensic investigators on the Msunduzi Municipality’s electricity department in Havelock Road at 6 am yesterday.

Msunduzi administrator Johann Mettler told Weekend Witness the exercise was carried out as a result of Operation Pitbull where the task team found collusion between consumers and staff within the electricity department.

He said a full scale forensic investigation was initiated at the electricity department and the stores section where meters are kept.

Mettler said the main aim of the investigation is to look at the issuing of electricity meters and the illegal connections of businesses onto the city’s electricity grid.

He said during Operation Pitbull, the task team came across instances where electricity meters were discovered on the premises of businesses, yet no records of these businesses were found on the system.

No arrests have yet been made and the investigations are ongoing.

Brian Zuma, the municipality’s acting manager for marketing and public relations, said the clampdown on businesses who have illegal electricity connections is ongoing.

“The magnitude of the problem suggests that there is more theft of electricity by businesses, than there is by homeowners … There will be an investigation of the role that may have been played by contractors, and or municipal staff …”

Zuma said a comprehensive report will be tabled at an executive committee meeting soon.

So far, Operation Pitbull has been targeting businesses in and around the city centre and massive fines have been imposed on various businesses whose meters have been found to have been tampered with.

On Thursday, Mettler told the executive committee that the operation will continue until the entire city centre has been covered before it is rolled out to residential areas.

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