City Power contractor arrested for allegedly reconnecting defaulting customer

City Power commends the judicial system for handing out harsh sentences against those guilty of tampering with electricity infrastructure.

A City Power contractor, linked with the illegal reconnection of a property owing over R3.8m, has been arrested.

Officers from Johannesburg Metro Police working with City Power’s security management team handcuffed the male suspect on April 9 from the head office in Reuven.

He was handed over to the Booysens Police Station, where he was charged with tampering with essential infrastructure.

This arrest follows City Power’s embarking on a revenue collection drive on April 7. They targeted defaulting customers serviced by the Rueven Centre.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said one customer disconnected on the day was a business that had amassed around R3.8m in electricity debt.

“Two days after the cut-off, the customer was unlawfully reconnected. Upon investigation, we discovered one of our contractors was allegedly involved in facilitating the unauthorised reconnection of the power supply. A team was dispatched to cut off the electricity supply again. On March 30, the same business customer connected yet again to the utility’s network illegally,” he said.

The contractor apprehended is facing charges of tampering with essential infrastructure and bribery because of his alleged involvement in the two cases of unlawful reconnections.

This comes a few days after City Power announced 17 other arrests made in the previous two weeks. This included the conviction of two criminals sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for tampering with essential infrastructure.

“We commend the judicial system for handing out harsh sentences against those found guilty of tampering with electricity infrastructure. These recent arrests demonstrate the effectiveness of the utility’s internal controls, coupled with collaboration with communities and law enforcement agencies.

“The entity’s efforts and determination in the fight against cable theft and vandalism of the electricity equipment also demonstrates how more can be achieved when communities join forces with the utility in the fight against the scourge that leaves customers without power supply for prolonged periods.

“City Power will not hesitate to take action against anyone involved in acts of criminality, whether a staff member, contractor or ordinary individual,” noted Mangena.

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