Tshwane’s power cuts campaign pays off

Electricity has been restored to a building that houses the offices of the Master of High Court and the Office of the State Attorney in Pretoria.

This after the City of Tshwane cut off the lights between Tuesday and Wednesday due to non-payment of electricity used at the SALU Building in Pretoria.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development announced on Friday that power had been restored after the landlord settled the electricity bill.

“All services of the Office of the Master of the High Court and the Office of the State Attorney have resumed with effect from the 3rd of March 2022. We apologise for any inconvenience caused during the disruption of power supply,” the department said in a statement.

The power cuts to the SALU building was part of the #TshwaneYaTima campaign to force residents and businesses in the Tshwane region to pay for services.

The municipality said so far, it had collected more than R700-million above its projections, after it disconnected more than 1 000 accounts, including government departments and businesses.

In an article, Tshwane mayor Randall Williams said the municipality was pushing ahead with the campaign and has already disconnected some residential customers.

Tshwane’s debtor’s book has increased to over R17-billion, which includes R1.3-billion that is owed by government departments and embassies, R4-billion by businesses, and R8-billion by residential customers.

“This amount of debt could not be sustained, particularly as the City is in a challenging financial position. The City faced several credit rating downgrades in September 2020, during the eight-month tenure [March to October 2020] of the illegal ANC administrators,” said Williams.

“The message we are driving here is clear: pay for services rendered. As a municipality, we purchase electricity and water in bulk, meaning that by the time we distribute these services, we have already paid on our side.

“If we then fail to receive revenue back for services rendered, it leaves us with shortfalls in our finances. This is detrimental to municipalities, which need revenue to operate optimally and to deliver services to residents.”

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George Matlala

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