City Power says it plans to impose steep fines on those who connect to the Johannesburg power grid illegally.
Meter tampering, illegal connections, theft of electricity, vandalism and theft of the infrastructure is rampant in the city, with “non-technical losses” amounting to R2bn each year.
The human cost was illustrated recently with the fatal electrocution of newlyweds, who lost their lives in Crosby. An investigation by City Power discovered that the couple's rented house had a tampered meter and a missing earth leakage.
In the past financial year, City Power recorded 16 fatalities and several injuries from illegal activities on its network.
The entity conducted 52 operations to remove illegal connections during that period, on average one operation a week.
In addition to the removal of illegal connections in informal settlements, City Power also executed more than 17,000 electricity cut-offs at properties of non-paying customers, inclusive of businesses in the suburbs, in the last six months of the previous financial year.