Graft prejudices City Power millions of Rands
JOHANNESBURG ,( CAJ News ) – The board chairman of the City of Johannesburg subsidiary company, City Power, Reverend Frank Chikane, has revealed that there is rampant collusion happening between the company’s workers and customers, warning that officials who carry unauthorized transactions to the detriment of service delivery will face punitive measures.
Chikane’s warning shots come amid revelations of the extent of cable theft, malicious damage to property and meters including domestic and large power users. To date, City Power registered 851 cases with South African Police Services and the prosecuting authorities relating to such crimes.
Some 782 arrests have been made with 274 cases having been concluded with convictions.
Chikane, urged customers to report these incidents to City Power, warning customers who collude with officials and service providers to carry out these unauthorized transactions would be liable to criminal prosecution.
“Meter tampering and illegal connections are not victimless crimes, on the contrary, they constitute theft on a massive scale against the ratepayers of Johannesburg,” Chikane highlights.
“These acts of misconduct amount to theft against the poor communities. Hundreds of millions of Rands that could otherwise have been invested to refurbishing ageing infrastructure and provide basic services to poor communities are being diverted by such acts to line the pockets of corrupt individuals,” said Chikane.
City Power announced plans to strengthen its corruption-busting initiatives aimed at rooting out the mal-practise as the utility realigns its operations in line with its revised business mandate.
The anti-corruption drive will focus on high-risk areas around metering, namely; applications for new meters, relocation and reconnection of existing meters as well as the procurement processes within City Power’s supply chain unit.
The area of metering was identified as a high-risk area where unscrupulous officials and service providers offer customers stolen meters that have been tampered with, swindle customers who submit smart meter applications and offer illegal reconnections to those customers that have been
disconnected due to non-payment.
Sicelo Xulu, City Power managingd, said the realignment of City Power’s operational structure positions the utility to realize its revised business mandate.
“This new operating structure is indicative of an organization that is agile and responsive to the changing operating environment. This new structure will unlock value, improve customer service, streamline operations and enhance efficiencies,” said Xulu.
In his State of the City Address last year, Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Parks Tau, mandated City Power to review its business model, increase its generating capacity, acquire electricity from renewable and alternative sources in addition to traditional avenues, reduce its carbon footprint and ensure strategic use of a mix of technologies and energy sources.
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