Deadline looms for water and electricity theft amnesty

Residents of the City of Tshwane who have tampered with the water and electricity network have 10 days left to use the grace period to come clean and apply for amnesty to avoid fines and criminal charges.

The City of Tshwane launched the Amnesty Programme for residents and business owners guilty of electricity and/or water theft to apply for amnesty to be exempted from prosecution and fines under certain conditions.

The amnesty period aims to assist residents and business owners, who are guilty of illegally connecting to the electricity and water network, and benefitting from these services without being measured and paying for consumption; tampering with an electricity and/or water meter, resulting in the measuring of incorrect or lower consumption; illegally reconnecting and electricity, and/or water meter after a credit control disconnection.

The amnesty period also aims to assist residents and business owners who are guilty of paying a bribe to remove an outstanding amount on an account or paying a bribe to illegally open a new municipal account without following the official process; and paying a bribe to have an electricity and/or meter bypassed to record incorrect or lower consumption.

To qualify for amnesty, the applicants must complete the application detailing how the illegal connection was made; who facilitated illegal connection and/or fraud on the account; how and to whom money was paid to facilitate the tampering; and the amount paid and how frequently the bribe money was paid (monthly or once off).

Benefits of applying for amnesty

According to the City, some of the benefits of applying for amnesty include the metering will be corrected and the account holder will start paying for services correctly from the date the amnesty is granted.

“The tampering and illegal connection fine will be waived [and] no criminal charges will be levied against the person or company granted amnesty,” the City of Tshwane said.

The City has increased the fines for illegal connections and electricity theft to R200 000 for individual and household accounts, and R10 million for business accounts.

In addition to the fines, the City will also lay criminal charges and pursue recovery of lost income.

The amnesty application form is available at www.tshwane.gov.za, where an icon on the landing page of the website, which will direct the user to the amnesty page, where they will be able to download the form.

The amnesty application forms are also available at all city’s customer care walk-in centres across the seven regions of Tshwane. A dedicated email address has been created for this purpose where the forms can be submitted at amnesty@tshwane.gov.za

Source: South African Government News Agency

Market