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Illegal connections costing BCMM millions

BY Cllr Patricia Williams, Buffalo City Municipality Caucus

BCMM has lost approximately R61 million in collectable revenue for the period 1 July 2014 to 31 January 2015 due to non-technical electrical losses. Total electricity losses amount to roughly R102 million at a total loss percentage of 16.21%.

 

Despite the dedicated illegal service removals team that is currently in place, this has had no impact on the state of illegally connected electricity connections throughout BCMM.

 

Stoney Drift is just one of the areas where the illegal service removal team have visited 27 times to disconnect the illegal electrical connections. Within hours after the service team left, the illegal connections were up again.

 

To date, there have being 29 known electrocutions as a direct result of illegally connected electricity supplies being connected onto BCMM’s electrical network.  This does not include the unreported cases.

 

The challenge is that the Revenue Protection Section is still understaffed and operating at 41% staff capacity. The Revenue Protection Section does not have the operational capacity to identify and take appropriate action against people who tamper with metering equipment. 

 

Another challenge is the lack of support from the BCMM Law Enforcement Department and SAPS.

 

BCMM is at risk of losing its electricity supply licence if service delivery related problems continue to escalate.

 

It is not fair that there are members of our society who are benefitting from illegal electricity connections while putting our children's lives at risk.


In a DA led municipality, crime prevention patrols would be implemented as soon as possible in order to curb this problem.

 September 01, 2015
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