The City of Cape Town is aware of apparent scammers, posing as City electricity officials, gaining access to residents’ homes. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The City of Cape Town is aware of apparent scammers, posing as City electricity officials, gaining access to residents’ homes. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Beware of fake City electricity officials, Cape residents warned

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town says it is aware of apparent scammers posing as City electricity officials to try and gain access to residents’ homes.

Criminals dressed in municipal clothing and carrying some form of identification operate by visiting residents at their homes and insisting they open the front door so that electricity infrastructure, including the meter, can be checked. While one scammer talks to the resident, the other steals small, personal items.

It appears that elderly residents are especially being targeted, the City said.

"The City does not have members of staff going door-to-door to check on infrastructure without an appointment. The City does check on electricity meters every so often but must make an appointment with the resident.

"All municipal workers and contractors must carry a work order number specific to that dwelling and a City-issued identification card. Residents should ask to check the official identification card before allowing anyone onto their property," said Mayco Member for Energy and Climate Change, Phindile Maxiti.

"The identification card must display the City logo, the name and surname of the staff member or mandated contractor, and must contain an embedded photo of the staff member or mandated contractor. Residents are not to allow anyone onto their premises until they have verified these details. Our residents should always be vigilant in these cases," said Maxiti.

The City is currently rolling out a free electricity meter replacement programme across the metro. The City does mailbox drops and targeted marketing of any planned work to be carried out in the area. Each meter replacement has a notification number on the City’s internal system, which the City’s Call Centre can verify should a resident enquire. 

Residents can also make an appointment for their meter to be changed at a time which suits them.

Any suspicious behaviour must be reported to the City’s law enforcement agencies or the City’s Fraud Hotline on 0800 323 130 or to the South African Police Service.

Members of the public can verify whether visitors to their home are in fact employed by the City by:

  • phoning the Call Centre on 0860 103 089 to confirm whether work is being carried out in their area
  • informing the official that they will allow them entry only once the Call Centre has verified their identity

Residents can find out which suburbs have had this meter replacement work completed and if their suburb has been selected for compulsory upgrades by viewing the full project schedule on www.capetown.gov.za/electricitymeters.

Cape Argus

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