- The Emfuleni municipality embarked on a revenue collection drive.
- Over 300 businesses allegedly owe the municipality around R312 million.
- Several government facilities have also been disconnected by the municipality.
The financially-strapped Emfuleni municipality started a revenue collection drive by cutting defaulters' electricity in a bid to get them to pay up if they want to be reconnected.
Since the campaign was launched on Monday, several government departments - such as the Labour Department and a SAPS training centre - were plunged into darkness.
The municipality's communications officer, Makhosinkwe Sangweni, said the training centre owed R700 000. It has, however, since paid R300 000 upfront, in order to be reconnected.
News24 contacted the police to understand why the centre was not paying its electricity, but was transferred to the national head office.
Colonel Mavela Masondo was contacted about the matter, but didn't respond to News24's query.
The municipality plans on disconnecting 323 business accounts this month to recoup around R312 million.
Sangweni told News24 that other government departments were currently getting warning notices.
Over 30 accounts, which owe Emfuleni more than R10 million, had already been disconnected, he said.
Emfuleni has been classified as a dysfunctional municipality and is currently under administration.
The municipality is also considering water restrictions for people who do not pay.
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The municipality said the money recovered would be used to provide services.
It also said the Emerald Resort and Casino owed R1.1 million for electricity.
Sangweni confirmed the four-star resort was disconnected on Thursday.
"They are running on a generator as we speak. They were disconnected," said Sangweni.
The resort was contacted for comment.
The casino's help desk forwarded News24 the contacts of the communications team, which did not respond to the emails sent.
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