Eskom has urged Soweto residents to install prepaid electricity meters. Eskom’s Operations and Maintenance Manager Daphne Mokwena says their technicians are installing prepaid meters in the area to deal with the huge R18 billion debt owed by Soweto residents.
She says this will also help with illegal connections. The power utility is owed billions by various municipalities across the country and is looking at various repayment options.
“There are two issues in Soweto in particular. It’s illegal connections where we have installed prepaid meters, where customers would have bridged meters. Secondly, where customers are buying from illegal vendors and number two, it’s where we have credit meters if customers do not pay. Hence we have to disconnect. That is why we find ourselves sitting with a huge bill. We urge the community to allow us to install the split meters which is the prepaid meters,” says Mokwena.
Eskom has expressed concern over the safety of its technicians going in to Soweto to conduct audits. The power utility says before it can repair a power station or reconnects a community after a power trip, an audit must be conducted.
Eskom says it is receiving backlash from communities fearing being cut off as they may have illegally connected their electricity.
Last week, an employee from the power utility was held hostage by the community.
“It’s unfortunate that we cannot afford to allow our technical guys to be exposed to such unsafe risky areas. Illegal connections, it’s one of the issues that we faced with. One of our strategies to deal with the R18.2 billion that is being owed, we are saying we need to install this split meter so we would urge the community to install those split meters which is a prepaid meter where they can actually manage their consumption.”
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