Six people were arrested on Monday during the City of Johannesburg’s crackdown on illegal electrical connections.
According to the municipality‚ the charges relate to the suspects illegally reconnecting to City services‚ following their disconnection by the City‚ and failing to pay their municipal accounts.
“These persons are said to owe the City R3‚332‚361.34. All the suspects had illegally connected to our electricity supply‚” said Mayor Herman Mashaba in a statement.
During the same operation‚ another 18 people were found to be undocumented. They were detained and will be processed by the department of home affairs.
“Ensuring that city services are paid for is integral in capacitating the City to deliver quality and consistent services‚ especially to the poorest and most vulnerable of our residents.
“Those who connect to services illegally not only rob the City‚ but also place extreme pressure on those residents who do pay for their municipal services.
“We remain unwavering in our commitment to bringing the rule of law back into the City. As a City‚ we will continue to run these operations so as to ensure offenders face the full might of the law.”
According to the City of Johannesburg‚ over 2‚000 businesses had failed to pay for electricity.
The City said the Auditor General has reported that for the 2016-17 financial year‚ non-technical electricity losses amounted to over R1 billion‚ which were due to theft‚ bypass of meters‚ illegal de-calibration of meters and damaged meters.