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uMngeni Municipality vows to deal with electricity thieves

uMngeni Local Municipality mayor Chris Pappas

File - uMngeni Local Municipality Mayor Chris Pappas says steps will be taken to claw back money it is owed. Picture: Facebook

Published Feb 22, 2023


Durban - uMngeni ( Howick) Municipality is looking to clamp down on electricity theft as it works to reduce electricity losses.

The municipality revealed that it has lost close to R19 million in the last seven months as a result of electricity theft.

The municipality has warned that it will implement unpopular measures as it looks to clamp down on this practice, without revealing what those measures might be.

“Electricity theft and loss is still one of our major inhibitors. The municipality has lost R19 million since July 2022 in stolen electricity,” said mayor Chris Pappas in a statement.

“However, we have made some strides in reducing year-on-year losses. This was confirmed by the Auditor General as well as our own mid-year budget assessment. We will never reduce our losses to zero due to the normal technical losses that occur, however, we will continue to work to cut illegal usage.

“Some of our interventions may not be popular, but are necessary if the municipality is to deliver services in a sustainable manner,” he said.

He also touched on the municipal debt, revealing that the municipality has made some progress in reducing the amount of money owed to it.

However, Pappas said there is still R250 million in monies outstanding to the municipality.

Pappas said the municipality is working on the following to continue to recover funds:

  • Agreement with Eskom supply areas to disconnect customers that owe rates and services
  • Agreement with Msunduzi supply areas to disconnect customers that owe rates and services
  • Selling of our debtors book
  • Write-offs for registered and verified indigent households

“Account holders are encouraged to come forward and make arrangements with the municipality to settle outstanding accounts. There are a variety of options available, including interest write-offs and payment plans,” he said.