Jan 29, 2023

Ulundi Disconnect Households That Are Not Paying For Electricity

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The municipality seeks to recover money from illegally connected consumers and settle an Eskom debt of over R100 million.

FILE PHOTO: Eskom worker disconnecting illegal electricity at one of the households that has not kept their account up to date. PICTURE: Ulundi/Twitter

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ZULULAND: The municipality attributes the exorbitant bill to electricity theft and illegal connections.

Ulundi local municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal will on Monday kick off a massive disconnection campaign to disconnect homes from the power grid. The municipality seeks to recover money from illegally connected consumers and settle an Eskom debt of over R100 million.

During the festive season, residents and businesses in the area were left in the dark after Eskom imposed load reduction power cuts due to the unpaid bill. But the municipality attributes the exorbitant bill to electricity theft and illegal connections.

Municipal manager Sandile Khomo says they have reached an agreement with Eskom where the power utility has agreed to cancel load reduction on the basis that the municipality withdraws its court bid.

“Ulundi had a load reduction which we learnt while it was already implemented as there was no communication or notice from Eskom which prompted us to say let us seek an urgent interdict from the court,” Mr Khomo said.

“Just a day before we had a meeting with Eskom which was facilitated by CoGTA where subsequently they eventually uplifted the load reduction. It is a fact we cannot deny that part of the reason is because of the community who are not paying for electricity who are connecting illegally,” he added.

On Monday, the mayor Mr Wilson Ntshangase alongside Mr Khomo they have taken the matters into their hands by leading the campaign of disconnecting households that are not paying for electricity.

Speaking on the sideline of the media, “[a]s a municipality that cares and is very close to the lives of our community, we consider it important that we fight this rampant crime here in Ulundi. It is true that there are many which is an effect that can lead to someone stealing electricity but they do it knowing that it is a crime, that is why we also find ourselves in this Eskom debt of more than R100 Million,” Mr Ntshangase said.

“We urge the public to cooperate with us at this time and we will be fixing this issue,” he added.

LISTEN: Mayor Ntshangase speaking during the disconnection campaign in Ulundi.

FILE PHOTO: Ulundi Municipality mayor, Mr Wilson Ntshangase and the municipal manager, Mr Sandile Khomo during the campaign to disconnect households that are not paying for electricity. VIDEO: Ulundi/Twitter
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