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Only 4% of Alex residents paying for electricity - City Power

The utility said it was taking action to address overloading on the network and to recover lost revenue caused by illegal connections.

FILE: A street in Alexandra, Johannesburg. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - City Power claims that only 4% of residents are paying for electricity in Alexandra.

The utility is in the township on Wednesday morning with police, the JMPD and SANDF members to clamp down on illegal connections which cost around R2 billion per year.

"Only 4% of the people in Alexandra pay for electricity currently. Only 4% of the people staying in Alexandra are connected to City Power [and are] City Power customers in Alexandra," spokesperson Isaac Mangena told Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

Areas that are being targeted include the River Park flats, Greenville and several homes along London Road. City Power said that the problem had been escalating, with infrastructure overloading due to illegal activities.

Mangena said that they'd been monitoring these areas before they were identified.

"Alexandra is one of those townships that has seen an increase of people coming through to stay there, and because of the problems we encountered during winter whereby most of our infrastructure overloaded and exploded, it was in Alexandra."

The utility said that it was taking action to address overloading on the network and to recover lost revenue caused by illegal connections.

In August, the Vasco da Gama switching substation exploded as a result of attempted vandalism and theft.

Mangena said: “We also know those areas that are informal that have not been proclaimed by the Department of Human Settlements, those areas all of a sudden have got electricity and we are monitoring them. Some of the illegal connections use our own cables from City Power and Eskom."

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), soldiers and police formed part of Wednesday’s operation.

JMPD spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said: “This operation will be given full support and all illegal electrical wires will be confiscated and disposed of at the City Power premises.”

At the same time, Eskom said tens of thousands of people in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the Free State would be affected by power cuts in the morning.

Eskom implemented so-called “load reduction” in the provinces also to prevent network overloading in high-density areas.

On the national power front, the power utility said it was planning to start turning off your electricity at 4pm.

Eskom said it had managed to return four generating units to service and was able to avoid load shedding until Wednesday afternoon.

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