City Power contractors nabbed for tampering with lights, bribery

City Power subcontractors were arrested for illegal activities in Eldorado Park and Mayibuye, Midrand. The latter was caught attempting to solicit a bribe in exchange for facilitating an illegal connection.

The Eldorado Park contractor was allegedly tampering with streetlights. The arrests at the weekend formed part of City Power’s mission to combat internal involvement in illegal connections and vandalism.  

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said on Friday City Power officials responded to a call from an employee who had been threatened by a subcontractor in Eldorado Park. The City Power employee had apparently sought to expose the contractor’s illegal connections linked to streetlights in the Lenasia area.

Mangena explained: “Upon arriving at the scene, operators found the streetlights functioning. The subcontractor, however, confessed to tampering with the electricity infrastructure. This prompted City Power to conduct a meter audit at the suspect’s property. However, they were denied entry and faced threats to their safety.

Contractor caught soliciting a bribe

“The suspect was eventually arrested and charged with tampering with essential infrastructure. He has been detained at Eldorado Park police station.”

In a separate arrest on Saturday, a contractor was caught red handed for illegally connecting a customer in Rabie Ridge after soliciting a bribe worth R800.

The suspect is detained at the Rabie Ridge police station.

Mangena expressed concern over the trend of illegal connections in Mayibuye, a community next to Rabie Ridge. He said the illegal connections were happening just after the installation of power meters in the area was recently completed.

“In our efforts to combat theft, vandalism, illegal connections, and tempering, we have taken a firm stance by going after all the enablers within the entity,” Mangena said. He was referring to the role that City Power employees and rogue contactors played in the illegal activities.

Mangena described the recent arrests as testimony to the effectiveness of City Power’s internal controls. He also lauded the role of community members and law enforcement in combating illegal connections.

Mangena revealed that in December last year, City Power launched an internal probe to expose internal involvement in organised criminal syndicates targeting City Power infrastructure.

Fines, disconnection and even jail

“As part of that plan, we have also deployed more security resources with a special focus on intelligence and the use of technology to detect wrongdoing and respond timeously,” Mangena added.

Mangena added that City Power strongly warns its employees against engaging in any form of illegal activity. He pleaded with the residents to refrain from offering technicians and contractors bribes or giving them a hard time. 

”Should a customer be found to have committed an act of bribery, they may be arrested, their power disconnected, and a stiff fine imposed.”

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