Finetown residents promise to pay for electricity

Finetown community members turned up in numbers on Saturday, 4 March 2023, to hear progress on Eskom challenges and the electricity crisis facing the township.

By Lebohang Ndashe – Intern

Finetown’s long overdue energy crisis was at the top of the agenda when the City of Johannesburg held a community meeting at the Finetown Multipurpose Centre which was attended by Eskom officials and ward 6 and 7 councillors, Amelia Zama and Solly Phometsi.   

Illegal electricity connections, non-paying customers, limited electric supply capacity and nonfunctional transformers were some of the most highlighted issues of the day.  Eskom said that they were aware of the many challenges facing the wards: “As Eskom, we cannot fix transformers that were broken five years ago in two months,” said the Eskom spokesperson.

Non-paying consumers with new electricity meters and transformers – particularly those residing in Finetown North and surrounding areas – are encouraged to at least start paying R200 monthly, and those with nonfunctional electricity transformers due to tampering are requested to pay R500 per household for a new one. Due to the high number of nonfunctional transformers, Eskom will prioritize streets and wards that paid R500 to the Eskom banking account and the allocation of transformers will go according to the list which indicates which wards paid first, proof of payments must be submitted to the councillor’s office.

Eskom appealed to unemployed, child headed and pensioners headed families to consult with their councillors and Social Department in order to qualify for Free Basic Electricity (FBE). The spokesperson said: “We beg you guys to start paying for electricity and stop tampering with it because for first tamper Eskom is going to fine you R6 052, 60 second tamper R12 128 and for the third offence, Eskom will cut off your electricity connection and confiscate your electricity meter.”

Some residents raised the issue of businesses owned by foreign nationals claiming that their energy consumption affects the overall capacity. The Eskom spokesperson responded: “Business owners and landlords with tenants please take your meter number to Eskom and ask for an upgrade.”

Finetown residents’ pleas and concerns were not fully addressed due loadshedding at the time and the meeting had to be held outside. However, residents were unanimous in their commitment to make payments saying, “if we can pay our monthly Dstv subscription, we can also try and pay for electricity.”

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