Report electricity theft

An electricity meter which has been tampered with.

The City of Cape Town has fingered Joe Slovo Park as a hot spot for electricity theft. And it has asked residents to report electricity theft.

The City had dealt with nearly 6 000 cases of electricity tampering and 3 000 cable theft cases in the past financial year, said Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy.

“Accounts were adjusted to the value of some R164 million after it was found that customers had tampered with infrastructure to get electricity without paying for it. This excludes R31 million worth of contravention notices issued,” Ms Limberg said.

Other hot spots include Gugulethu, Nyanga, Philippi West and Weltevreden Valley.

“However, it should be noted that tampering with electricity meters occurs right across the city. Illegal connections mainly occur either where there has not been an application for additional connections on a property or when informal settlements are on land where the provision of electricity is not possible due to circumstances such as land ownership challenges, wetlands, and densities, among others,” she said.

According to the City, tampering results in faulty meters across the city, while the continual cable theft damages electricity infrastructure and causes power supply disruptions to various communities on a regular basis.

“This illegal activity has so many repercussions for the City as a whole, as we have to account for the increased cost of repairs following vandalism of the infrastructure and the associated overtime to effect repairs, not to mention the actual human resources required to do individual disconnections. This all adds to the cost of supplying electricity. Furthermore, it’s a complete waste of City resources and takes away from other service delivery responsibilities,” Ms Limberg said.

“Cable theft leaves our communities in darkness, puts our residents at risk of electric shock, and allows criminals to operate more easily, so we are truly appealing to all members of the public to assist us by reporting any suspicious activities near electricity infrastructure or providing any leads on electricity tampering.

“Every bit of help to curb this extreme waste of City resources will make a difference,” she said.

* Residents can report suspicious activities near electricity infrastructure to the Metals Theft Unit at 0800 222 771.

Faulty street lights and electricity theft and outages can be reported to the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089, by SMS to 31220, or by email to power@capetown.gov.za.