Court orders electricity reconnection

2010-09-11 10:04

Johannesburg - The Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) said on Friday that the South Gauteng High Court ordered Eskom to reconnect the electricity supply to 420 flats in Chiawelo, Soweto.

The residents of the Tshaiwelo Flats brought an urgent application to the court after their electricity had been disconnected.

According to SERI, which represented the residents, the residents said in their court papers that the decision to disconnect the electricity had been made without notification and without granting them a reasonable opportunity to make representations.

That rendered the disconnection illegal, they argued.

The residents said they had been billed for electricity consumed by previous occupants of their flats and that Eskom would not open new accounts until they had paid off the previous occupiers’ arrears.

The residents also complained that Eskom seldom came to read their meters; did not accurately record their consumption and often failed to record their payments to it.

The court ordered Eskom to reconnect the electricity supply to their flats by September 15.

"It also requires that Eskom engages with the residents to address their complaints relating to inaccurate billing," SERI said.

It was not to disconnect the residents in future except on 14 days’ notice.