Living large and in the dark: City Power cuts electricity in posh estates over unpaid bills of R13m

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City Power cuts illegal connections in Johannesburg.
City Power cuts illegal connections in Johannesburg.
Twitter/CityPowerJHB
  • JHB City Power cut electricity supply at several posh estates in Dainfern on Wednesday.
  • City Power says residents at at least 204 properties owed millions in revenue.
  • The highest single debt for one customer was R1.4m.

Johannesburg City Power cut electricity supply to several posh estates in Dainfern in an operation on Wednesday, due to residents owing R13 million.

"The utility was initially delayed by the resistance from the owners of Dainfern Estate, but were eventually allowed entry after we threatened to cut the whole complex off," spokesperson Isaac Mangena said in a statement on Wednesday.

"The operation is part of City Power's revenue collection efforts targeting those who owe [on] their electricity bill, [are] illegally connected to our network, bridged meters, and meters that have been tampered with to ensure the customer is not correctly billed," he added.

The operation targeted Dainfern Extension, Dainfern Proper, and Dainfern Ridge, where City Power said it was owed and losing millions in revenue.  

"There are 204 overdue customers targeted by today's operation, collectively owing City Power R13 million. 

"The highest single debt for one customer is R1.4 million, and the house was found with no meter, thus illegally connected. At least 40 customers collectively owe City Power amounts between R100 000 and R1.4 million," Mangena further  explained.

The operation saw at least 10 properties visited, with six cut off during the operation.

The customers who lost electricity supply on Wednesday was expected to settle the bill immediately or make a down payment from the amount owing, before making an arrangement with the City of Johannesburg. 

"[For example] the customer owing R1.4 million will be asked to pay R104 000 and sign an admission of debt arrangement at the City before being reconnected. The main reason for the operation is to deal with overloading of the network and recover lost revenue caused by those stealing electricity," Mangena said.

The operation included officials from the City Power Revenue Protection Unit, with the help of the Joburg Metro Police Department.

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