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Ratepayers continue to hold the short end

Shocked from Horison writes:

My electricity consumption has more than doubled since City Power installed a new smart meter recently.

The old meter registered average daily consumption over 200 days (actual reading) of 10,62 kWh. The new meter registered average daily consumption since installation of 26,72 kWh over 13 days. This is an increase of 151,6 per cent.

Joburg’s smart meter roll-out has caused consternation among ratepayers ever since its inception some years ago. Remembering that the DA was dead against smart meters, I emailed newly elected DA councillor for Ward 85, Sonja Meyer.

I wanted to know what happened, since a forensic investigation last year found that the R1,2b smart meter contract awarded to ANC benefactor and President Jacob Zuma’s friend, Vivian Reddy, was irregular. Mayor Mashaba threatened that those implicated would be dealt with and that the city’s forensic investigation department was in the process of laying criminal charges with the police.

I also reminded Councillor Meyer of the DA’s stance in 2015, when it was reported that the DA called for electricity smart meter installations to be stopped because of “electricity bill chaos”, and raised the possibility of legal action in this regard.

“The installation of smart meters, which is causing havoc with electricity bills all across Johannesburg, must be stopped until a reputable authority can verify the devices and the process,” said a statement by the DA. Apparently engineers had advised the DA that a class action should be instituted against the city in view of the smart meter woes.”

Meyer’s office responded a full three weeks later by mailing me a copy of City Power’s notice of the renewed smart meter roll-out published on the council’s official web site.

Councillor Sonja Meyer ignored all my questions.

So while the lethargic DA plays politics at City Hall, the ratepayers are left holding the short end. Class action may well be our only recourse.

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