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More severe fines to be imposed by City of Mbombela for power theft

The hefty fines have been imposed because the municipality is suffering enormous financial losses because residents are bypassing prepaid meters and using much more electricity than they are purchasing.

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 electricity meters.

The CoM council had adopted a motion by the FF Plus councillor, Ken Robertson, during a special sitting at the chambers on September 29 last year.

Robertson submitted an amendment to the by-law to institute substantial fines for businesses and domestic establishments that obtain electricity illegally.

The FF Plus’s motion suggested that businesses that are found guilty could be fined R10 000 for the first offence and R30 000 for the second one, or could face time behind bars.

ALSO READ: City of Mbombela to enforce heavy fines for electricity tampering soon

The FF Plus also proposed that households that are found guilty of domestic electricity theft could be fined R5 000 for the first offence and up to R20 000 for the second, or relevant jail time.

ALSO READ: Tampering fines adopted by City of Mbombela council

The new fine structure adopted and to be implemented is as follows for households:
• First offence with no damage to installation: R8 583 to R17 161
• First offence with damage to installation: R11 007 to R22 014
• Second offence on a tariff violation: R12 522 to R25 044
• Third offence: legal action and removal of meter installation.
For businesses and other large power consumers, the fines are as follows:
• First offence: R21 207 to R42 414
• Second offence: legal action and removal of meter installation.

According to a report tabled at the council sitting, the municipality is suffering enormous financial losses because residents are bypassing prepaid meters and using much more electricity than they are purchasing.

At present, electricity losses as a result of tampering, theft and outdated infrastructure amount to a staggering 25%.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.

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