LOCAL residents, who have tampered with their electricity meters, now have the opportunity to set the record straight – no questions asked.
Kouga Municipality will afford a one-time amnesty for residents across the region whose electricity meters are faulty, not sealed or illegally connected (by-passed).
Affected residents have from September 1 to September 30 to report this to the municipality to qualify for an amnesty.
“We urge all residents whose meters have been tampered with to come forward and use the amnesty period as a window of opportunity to rectify their meters,” Infrastructure and Engineering Portfolio Councillor, Willem Gertenbach, said.
“Registering the tampered meters during the amnesty period will help residents to avoid penalties such as reconnection fees and average monthly consumption charges for the period the meter has not been vending.”
According to Gertenbach, should residents fail to apply for amnesty and be found guilty of meter tampering, Council will immediately terminate the supply of services.
“The total account owing, including assessment of unauthorised consumption, disconnection and re-connection fees, and increase deposits as determined by Council will be due and payable before any reconnection can be sanctioned.
“The consumption debt will be determined at the rates charged for electricity during the financial period in which the theft or fraud was discovered and be liable for up to three years.
“The municipality, furthermore, reserves the right to lay criminal charges and to take any other legal action against vandalism and theft.”
Gertenbach said this process will ensure that future revenue is generated and that the electricity losses are addressed.
“Electricity loses amounted to 20.33% in the 2019/ 2020 financial year, while these losses were reduced to 13.87% in the 2020/ 2021 financial year,” he said. “This will reduce our losses even more and create an immediate revenue stream for the municipality.”
The amnesty application form will be available at all municipal offices and councillors’ offices during this period.