Hijacked building tenants stopped City Power from cutting off illegal connections, forcing the company to temporarily halt its operation, which addressed unpaid electricity bills in four hijacked buildings in Jeppestown. According to Briefly News, these buildings collectively owe the city nearly R20 million in unpaid electricity bills, with the last recorded payment dating back to 2017.
Isaac Mangena, the spokesperson for City Power, has indicated that the company plans to resume its operation in the coming weeks. Despite having the support of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) during the operation, the presence of law enforcement proved insufficient, as an agitated crowd of tenants significantly outnumbered them.
This incident has sparked discussions about the challenges of dealing with unpaid bills and illegal electricity connections in Johannesburg’s CBD. Some individuals expressed frustration at the perception that free services were being provided to people, even for utilities that require payment. There were also calls for more substantial law enforcement involvement and concerns about foreigners’ activities in the city.
Picture: X / CityPowerJhb
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