Western Cape - Possible Electricity Scandal

Justinb107

New Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
5
Hi Guys

I am no sure if this is the correct place to post this, but there seems to be a scandal going around municipalities within the Western Cape and is flying low under the radar of many South Africans.

My parents had their electricity meter replaced in 2014 by a city of Cape Town official. In 2019, the meter display went blank and my dad once again reported that the meter was broken and was replaced again by a City of Cape Town official and then blamed my father for tampering with the electricity meter which is is a blatant lie. He is not an electrician and never tampered with the electricity meter in any way, shape or form. All seals were in tact when the meter was recently replaced.

They are now forced to pay an amount of R29 000 + R6 000 excluding VAT, which amounts to R40 250 (inc VAT). Unfortunately my dad lost all his pension and savings due to an investment scheme that went sour and he now has to work a job which pays R7000 before taxes (he is a 64 year old pensioner).

From his income, he has to pay rates/taxes, house payments, food, electricity, water, etc. The money he earns, already is not enough to cover all of their expenses. Now the City of Cape Town is forcing them to pay the apparent tampering fine, but they just do not have the funds upfront and neither the money to pay it off monthly. They are at stake of loosing their house and all belongings because of this. I am trying to assist them where I can, but it is just not enough. We have tried emailing and calling the City of Cape Town but they do not respond to emails and are not helpful at all over the phone. I am sure that there are others out there who have gone through the very same thing.

I have called a lawyer for assistance and found out he went through the very same thing, but he is charging R1500 per hour which could end up costing close to the owed amount. Without this being publicly exposed, it will fall under the radar and people will be robbed of their last few cents within the tough South African economy.

Has anyone on this forum went through something similar which could provide assistance on how to approach this and get it resolved as soon as possible?
 

Attachments

  • Electricity meter letter..jpg
    Electricity meter letter..jpg
    144.3 KB · Views: 46
  • Electricity Meter.jpg
    Electricity Meter.jpg
    115.4 KB · Views: 46
  • Image (18).jpg
    Image (18).jpg
    2.1 MB · Views: 42

itareanlnotani

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
3,823
Suggest try not to use hyperbole in your thread titles.

He's accused of tampering with the meter, the documents say you have 21 days to make representation in writing why this is not the case.

Suggest you start doing that. Would also suggest a visit to the department in person so you can speak to someone.

Make sure you get a reference.

Do you have any proof of any of your claims?
i.e. photos of the untampered meter? A name/ number of the person who replaced the meter?

Those will also be useful.
 

yebocan

Honorary Master
Joined
Sep 22, 2005
Messages
11,937
If it is a prepaid meter...the below...if not, get your parent's ward councilor involved.

They are now forced to pay an amount of R29 000 + R6 000 excluding VAT, which amounts to R40 250 (inc VAT).

How are these amounts derived? Seems to me they have calculated the amount the unit would have used, since the last time a token was bought ?
 
Last edited:

wetkit

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
1,099
Well, first of all, how did they get to the amount of money?
That is a huge chunk of cash!!!
At the current going rate that is around 1,250KWh per month for a year.

Where is your slips for your pre-paid power purchases?
Surely you should be able to submit that?

If you now realize that you suddenly stopped paying for electricity some time back, but never reported it, yes, then you into a world of hurt, sorry.
 

Mista_Mobsta

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Messages
2,074
They need to provide conclusive evidence that it was indeed your parents that tampered with the meter. Ask them for the full evidence list and make your representation, including evidence, within the allotted 21 days. Evidence could include the fact that the meter was sealed, name and position of first official that replaced the 1st broken meter etc.
 

akescpt

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Messages
21,801
they dont need to do anything. you must prove you didnt do anything wrong.

the NNP doesn't work for you it works for itself.
 

ProfA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 15, 2008
Messages
12,942
Who the fck keeps their electricity token slips indefinitely? And keeps the name of all municipal officials who work at their homes? Or takes photos of meters before municipal officials work on them?
 

Zoomzoom

Executive Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2014
Messages
5,472
Who the fck keeps their electricity token slips indefinitely? And keeps the name of all municipal officials who work at their homes? Or takes photos of meters before municipal officials work on them?

Exactly, however, these days with the way municipalities are you kind of have to. Keep everything, record everything, have evidence. Which reminds me, I think I need to take my own advice with my meter readings.
 

Slootvreter

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
29,553
If you now realize that you suddenly stopped paying for electricity some time back, but never reported it, yes, then you into a world of hurt, sorry.

Indeed, so many people don't pay a bill because they didn't receive an invoice. Stupid.

Not saying this is the case here.
 

itareanlnotani

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
3,823
Who the fck keeps their electricity token slips indefinitely? And keeps the name of all municipal officials who work at their homes? Or takes photos of meters before municipal officials work on them?

At least a trip to the police station after printing a paper that states the seals were undamaged when removed, and have the police station stamp as a verified statement, as that can then be submitted.

When it comes to this sort of thing, you never can be too careful.
I document the crap out of stuff just in case.
 

ArtyLoop

Executive Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2017
Messages
7,780
At least a trip to the police station after printing a paper that states the seals were undamaged when removed, and have the police station stamp as a verified statement, as that can then be submitted.

When it comes to this sort of thing, you never can be too careful.
I document the crap out of stuff just in case.
Yes.. these new governments are crafty skelms..
 

noxibox

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
20,177
I agree you should request the evidence the city is using to support the claim of tampering. You can also request support for the calculated electricity charge. Even if they had stopped paying, which is stupid, you can challenge the amount if it is not based on their typical usage.

If you get nowhere then Cape Town has an ombudsman. Lodge a complaint if you feel the city is mistaken about the tampering. The ombudsman will require the city to submit their evidence proving the unit was tampered with. As for the electricity charge if they had stopped buying electricity and that amount is based on typical usage, then you're going to have to pay. But if they have been buying electricity, even if they don't have proof, which most people wouldn't have, then make a complaint to the ombudsman. There is no requirement to keep receipts, and it will be up the city to show that no units have been bought for that meter.

Just note that this will not happen quickly. Complaints can take months to process, but rather get the complaint going as soon as possible and include all correspondence between you and the city.
 
Top