City Power takes tough stance, refuses to service defaulting clients

City Power will no longer respond to calls for outages from defaulting customers, the Johannesburg power utility said on Tuesday.

The power utility has flagged clients who refuse to pay for electricity, including customers with non-vending meters, non-paying customers, and defaulting customers.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said: “We have embarked on a city-wide programme to ensure that we get as many citizens as possible to pay for their electricity services, those who can.

“For those who cannot, the city has programmes to assist the indigent residents.”

Mangena said the utility is well within its right to terminate services to non-playing clients.

“The Local Government Municipal Systems Management Act 32 of 2000, and the National Credit Act stipulate that City Power is within its right to ensure it installs the prepaid meters for the purposes of revenue collection on behalf of the city.”

In recent months, City Power has embarked on an aggressive revenue-collection drive to collect money from customers across the city. It is estimated that the power utility is owed R10-billion by the residents of the City of Johannesburg.

In addition, City Power has embarked on a programme to audit and normalise meters in seven regions across Johannesburg, which will also involve the resetting of meters to be TID-compliant ahead of the deadline in November 2024.

The programme will also assist City Power to clean up its data and ensure unmetered customers, especially in non-affluent areas, have smart meters which will enable them to not only buy electricity, but also assist the utility to remotely monitor and control the load as it battles loadshedding.

Mangena pleaded with customers who have bridged or bypassed meters, as well as defaulting customers to visit their nearest service delivery centres to make payment arrangements.

“We further appeal to residents for cooperation and to allow our officials to gain access to their properties when they come to audit and normalise meters. These audits will be vital in preparation for the TID rollover, as some of the meters cannot be reprogrammed,” he said.

“The TID resetting entails that every non-smart [old technology] meter should be replaced with new technology meters. These old technology meters will stop accepting credit tokens by November 2024, as the credit token will run out of available numbers.”

Meanwhile, City Power has written to Naturena residents informing them of its decision not to respond to electricity outages in the area until the utility’s teams are allowed to enhance revenue collection.

The residents have been given until Friday to allow City Power teams to audit the meters in the area.

“Should the resistance continue, we will no longer respond to power outages in Naturena from May 12,” said Mangena.

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