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More severe fines to be imposed on power thieves in Mbombela soon

During a recent municipal council meeting, the Mbombela Local Municipality (Mbombela/Nelspruit, Barberton, Hazyview, Kaapschehoop, Skukuza, White River) decided to implement a new fine structure for electricity theft and tampering with municipal infrastructure.

This follows the Council’s adoption of the FF Plus’s motion last year that more severe fines should be imposed on power thieves who tamper with prepaid meters.

According to a report tabled to the Council, the Municipality is suffering enormous financial losses because residents are bypassing prepaid meters and using much more electricity than they are purchasing or receiving for free from Mbombela.

The fine prescribed by the previous by-law was a mere R500.

At present, electricity losses as a result of tampering, theft and outdated infrastructure amount to a staggering 25%. Losses are acceptable up to 3,5% (as recommended by NERSA).

The new fine structure to be implemented is as follows for households:

• First offence with no damage to installation: R7 464 to R8 583.
• First offence with damage to installation: R9 571 to R11 000.
• Second offence on a tariff violation: R10 888 to R12 522.
• Third offence: legal action and removal of meter installation.

For businesses and other large power consumers, the fines are as follows:

• First offence: R18 440 to R21 207.
• Second offence: legal action and removal of meter installation.

The FF Plus will insist that officials start identifying offenders and taking the necessary steps at once.

The FF Plus is committed to lifting the Municipality out of its dire financial position, so, residents should not be allowed to make use of services for which they do not pay.

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