File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Family outraged after electricity fine of R107k and accusations of tampering

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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Cape Town – A Strandfontein family is up in arms after the City issued them with a fine of R107 049.46, allegedly for electricity used and not paid for because of tampering.

This after correction work on the service mains was done and a new prepaid meter installed, followed by a contravention notice of R8 016 issued for allegedly tampering with the supply.

However Quintin Griffts insisted there was no tampering with the distribution box and they could not take responsibility for work done by contractors on behalf of the City that could have led to the contravention now claimed.

Griffts said that on May 17, the City Electricity Revenue Protection Services Unit visited his premises, and during its inspection alleged that tampering had taken place. However he said there was no by-passing of any internal service mains visible or rectification of a by-pass on the distribution box.

Griffts said he allowed for the fitting of the new meter box only after he was threatened that if he resisted the supply would be cut immediately. The R8 016 fine was due to be paid within 21 days.

“The meter box that was removed was a box that was installed by City officials some years ago. This box was installed because the previous box was faulty. That was also the last time that physical work was done on my distribution box. At the time that this work took place I was not at home but busy with military operations, being a SANDF member. My wife admitted that she carried on with her daily tasks while they were busy in the kitchen working on the distribution box,” he said.

City spokesperson Luthando Thyalibhongo said the matter was ongoing and the City was unable to comment on the specifics of the matter. He said deductions had been temporarily paused and a new contravention notice would be issued which would give the customer 21 days to make representation or to lodge a dispute in terms of the Electricity By-Law.

“The City believes it has sufficient evidence of tampering, both as it pertains to the infrastructure, as by-passes were documented photographically, as well as the actual usage pattern difference after the new prepaid meter was installed by the City,” he said.

Thyalibhongo said due process was being followed.

Cape Argus

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