Install prepaid meters or stay in the dark, Eskom tells Soweto residents

Soweto owes more than R4.5 billion with only a reported 40% of residents willing to actually pay for services.

Eskom has warned the residents that Soweto will go dark if the resistance to prepaid meters continues. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom said that prepaid meters needed to be installed in Soweto as the grid has to be protected and revenue collected.

The utility has told residents that they need to install prepaid meters or stay in the dark.

Soweto owes more than R4.5 billion, with only a reported 40% of residents willing to actually pay for services.

"So when people conduct illegal connections they are bypassing certain safety regulations and it really puts strain and that is where our customers will experience unplanned outages," said Gauteng Eskom spokesperson Amanda Qithi.

But despite this residents are still refusing prepaid meters.

"The is definitely resistance that we experience in certain areas. A week ago, Moletsane residents chased us out of the area when we had arranged to go restore and this was the second time," Qithi said.