Eskom targets private estates after resident racks up R89,000 bill

Eskom says it will resume operations at Waterfall Estates in Johannesburg on Thursday (3 December) as part of a continued clamp down on private estates.

The power utility said that the operation forms part of a campaign aimed at curbing financial losses caused by illegal connections, and the indiscriminate use of electricity in residential areas.

“Eskom recently identified several bypassed meters and illegal connections in the estates, and disconnected a customer who owed the power utility approximately R89,000 in electricity debt.

“The said customer’s supply was disconnected on the spot. Eskom continues to use the data analytics of smart metres and energy delivered to the area to identify any anomalies and discrepancies on accounts and energy delivered to ensure that the network is safe and operational at all times.”

The state firm said that it will conduct similar operations at other estates across Gauteng. It also plans to target gated homes and residential complexes as it has seen a number of anomalies and discrepancies.

“Our focus remains on recovering revenue that is due to us in order to sustain our operations and ensure quality services to our paying customers,” said Daphne Mokwena, senior manager for customer services in Gauteng.

Data published by Public Enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan showed that the total debt owed by municipalities to Eskom at the end of July was R46.1 billion – of which R31 billion was overdue debt.

Gordhan said that Eskom has implemented several interventions to collect the outstanding debt including:

  • increasing the payment days from 15 to 30 days for all non-metropolitan municipalities, reduced the interest rate on arrears, and applies payments to capital first before interest;
  • Offering payment plans as a means to make the payment of the arrear debt more affordable over a period of time;
  • Direct engagement with defaulting municipalities, issuing contract breach notices with the intention of encouraging a remedy of the breach, interruption of supply, and also litigating by issuing summons for payment;
  • Legal pursuance of debt which also extends to the attachment of assets and bank accounts of certain municipalities.

Read: Eskom has cut 2,000 jobs in 10 months – with more to come

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Eskom targets private estates after resident racks up R89,000 bill