Makhura: Big business stealing electricity

The Gauteng premier vowed to find a lasting solution to the Johannesburg billing crisis.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - One of the causes of the Johannesburg billing crisis is big businesses "stealing" electricity with the help of city officials, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Friday.

He vowed to find a lasting solution to the problem during his inaugural State of the Province Address (Sopa) in Thokoza, south of Johannesburg, on Friday morning.

The city has been plagued by billing problems over the past few years with many customers laying complaints for incorrect statements or being over-charged.

Makhura says it's beyond imaginable that businesses could do such a thing.

"The losses are severe. This is a pure criminal activity - white collar crime."

Makhura also addressed e-tolling and announced a panel would be established to review the impact of the tolls.

Many Gauteng motorists are still refusing to pay bills.

The controversial system was implemented on provincial freeways in December, despite months of legal wranglings, protests and calls for civil disobedience.

The premier says he still has to appoint panel members and outline the terms of reference.

The controversial system went live on 3 December after months of legal wrangling, protests and calls for civil disobedience.