According to an announcement by City Power this week, Johannesburg residents will now be responsible for the cost of replacing stolen cables that supply power to their homes. The decision comes after the utility incurred a substantial R188 million bill for cable replacements in the past financial year as reported by the Times Live.
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Speaking to TimesLIVE, City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena explained that the cost of cables would vary based on the size of customers’ capacity and the distance from the City Power supply to their homes. For instance, the cost for single-phase houses will differ from that of three-phase houses, making it challenging to determine the exact costs that customers will be liable for.
Mangena further clarified that customers will need to purchase the required cables themselves and hire privately qualified technicians to handle the installation. While City Power will assist in isolating the power supply to the property for safety purposes, they will only switch it back on after the new cable is installed.
Regarding liability for damage to the service connection, Mangena stated that customers would be held responsible unless they can prove negligence on the part of City Power or the City of Johannesburg.
Mangena emphasised that only authorised employees or agents of City Power or the city council should handle adjustments or repairs to prevent unauthorised interference with service connections.
City Power is taking measures to invest in private security and collaborate with law enforcement agencies. They believe the solution lies in community involvement, with residents committing to safeguarding infrastructure on their private properties. Utilising resources such as patrollers, CPFs (community policing forums), and neighbourhood watch groups and collaborating with the police is essential in ensuring the protection of vital infrastructure.
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