City Power disconnects 15 spaza-shops in Eldorado Park for meter bypassing  

 City Power has disconnected over 15 foreign-owned spaza shops in Eldorado Park that were found to have bypassed electricity meters.

The operation, led by the Revenue Protection team took place in Eldorado Park Extension 1 & 2 on Thursday, 4 July 2024. This comes as City Power continues clamping down on illegal connections and meter bypassing as part of a comprehensive load reduction strategy across the city. 

 From the start of this winter season, City Power has been experiencing high consumption levels, increasing the risks of infrastructure damage and the likelihood of grid collapse.  In response to this challenge, City Power introduced Load Management initiatives.

Those initiatives include the installation of solar geysers in low-income households, microgrids in informal settlements and ripple relays in suburban areas. We have also implemented measures such as load curtailment programme for business customers as well.

Removing illegal connections is also at the centre of the utility’s comprehensive plans of easing the load on the network. Illegal connections and meter tampering are among the most contributing factors to the network overload, often leading to a high number of transformers and mini-substations getting damaged and destroyed.   

The problem of backyard businesses is also proving to be a major concern because the majority of homeowners avoid making the necessary applications from the city to get their businesses properly authorised and bulk services upgraded to cater for business requirements. This is the phenomenon we encountered in Eldorado Park during the cut-off, where City Power officials were joined by the local councillors and community leaders.  

We noted that property owners simply connect spaza shops operating in their yards from existing household supply, which has not been fitted to carry excessive load. 

 Fifteen businesses were immediately cut-off and slapped with a level-3 disconnection which comes with the removal of electrical infrastructure. That was to prevent the chances of the same customers possibly reconnecting their businesses illegally, in the future.  The security team will also be patrolling the area to ensure that those customers do not make any unauthorised attempt of reconnecting supply.  

As a result of the disconnections, these customers will have to apply from scratch and pay the reconnection fee to get supply reinstated.   

City Power would like to thank councillors and residents in the Eldora Park for their cooperation and coming forward to report suspicious connections. Councillor Juwairiya Kaldine who was part of the operation echoed the entity’s sentiment on the need to reduce consumption.  

“These shops have more than 3 freezers each that adds tremendous stress to the grid. We are cutting the power of all these shops, In order to normalize the grid.”

“Let’s be responsible citizens and residents, and continue paying for services, as the city of Joburg can’t operate without collecting revenue,” she added.

 The work of cutting off and removing illegal connections and meter bypassing is in full swing, as the entity tries to remove excess load from the grid. These cut-off operations and removal of illegal connections are being carried out on a daily basis.  

We urge residents to report any suspicion of illegal connection or tampering by contact 0800 002 587.

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