The Town Council of Mossel Bay at a Special Council Meeting on 12 September 2014 approved an amnesty period of six months until 15 February 2015 for the reinstallation of electricity meters, which were removed because they were either tampered with or bypassed. The tampering fee in this regard will also be waived during the amnesty period.
Where electricity meters can be re-used a charge of R125, plus VAT, will be levied to cover the installation costs thereof. If a meter is damaged a charge of R575, plus VAT, shall be levied to cover the cost of replacing the meter and installation costs. These charges may be recovered in cash or through auxiliary payments on the customer’s accounts.
Alderman Jim van der Merwe, Chairperson of the Finance Committee of Council, said the Municipality will also install split-type prepayment meters with separate control and customer interface units to prevent tampering with the meters. The estimated cost to the Municipality of the installation of such meters is R634 000.
He appealed to all consumers with illegal connections to make use of this opportunity offered to them by Council to legalise their electrical connections.
“Although the illegal use of electricity is illegal in terms of the Electricity Regulation Act, 2006, as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993, there is a continuous loss or revenue to the Municipality due to the theft of electricity by way of illegal electrical connections in the Mossel Bay municipal area. The Municipality has over the past three years disconnected approximately 1 200 electrical connections.
“Certain households are also reselling electricity illegally to their neighbours at exorbitant rates, while cables and wires are also laid dangerously across streets and public spaces, putting the safety of especially small children at risk.
“Municipal meters and distribution boxes are continuously vandalised for the illegal tapping of electricity, while continuous power interruptions are encountered in some low voltage networks due to overload conditions caused by the illegal activities.”