Eskom recovering from syndicate attack

2015-05-05 15:47
(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

(Gianluigi Guercia, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Polokwane - Eskom in Limpopo has said its revenue has increased since the arrest of members of a prepaid electricity syndicate, who were allegedly enriching themselves with old vending machines.

The company said it has been losing at least R400m per year as results of a Credit Dispensing Unit machine stolen by the syndicate six years ago.

Eskom’s provincial spokesperson, Dikgabane Rampedi, told News24 on the sidelines of Wellington Marumo's trial at Mankweng Magistrate’s court on Tuesday: “We have managed to reduce the impact since Marumo was arrested and our sale has increased over R37m a month,” he said.

The court heard that Marumo used phased out machines when selling electricity voucher to customers in Mankweng area.

Credit Dispending Unit machines were phased out in 2009 after Eskom suffered heavy losses from the illegal sale of electricity as the system was vulnerable for exploitation.

However, investigations by police and the Eskom Fraud Unit discovered that nearly 580 vouchers were sold between 2009 and November 2012.

The court heard that the syndicate made a combined illegal profit of R264 600, when selling units at lower rate to Eskom's standard rates.

Eskom’s Fraud Examiner, Louie Rossow, earlier in the trial told court that the attack on the system was causing the company serious losses.

Marumo pleaded not guilty to 580 charges, despite overwhelming evidence against him.

Recruiting customers

According to police investigations, code discovered on the receipts were fromthree machines that were stolen when Eskom recalled and destroyed CDU machines.

The court heard that a ring leader recruited customers by promising them more units at discounted rates.

In one instance, a customer was able to secure 400 units for R200, something the power utility said was unregulated and unstandardised.

Rampedi appealed to the community not to support or buy discounted electricity, saying: "There is not a discount for electricity, the price of electricity is regulated. Don't buy or support discount electricity from dealers."

Marumo is said to have been the leader of a syndicate operating in Mankweng and surrounding areas.

He was released on R100 000 bail in March last year.

The court was also told that Eskom was unable to stop the machines from operating because the vending machines, unlike new technology, operate offline.

Elainne Adams, Eskom's information system manager, told the court that Eskom could not stop the machines from operating.

“It is not possible to stop that machine, it is not linked. The machine will stop issuing vouchers in 2024 if is not retrieved,” she said

The trial was adjourned until July 8, for the State to allow the police fraud analyst to unpack how money was transferred between ring leaders.

Read more on:    eskom  |  polokwane  |  fraud  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.