FRIDAY, 04 DECEMBER. Eskom is in Pampierstad today to address increasing revenue losses in the area that are caused mainly by meter tampering and ghost vending.
“In the past year, Eskom lost a projected R7.3 million in revenue in Pampierstad only. We are therefore taking strict measures to curb further losses. Eskom is owed an estimated R43 billion by municipalities and customers throughout the country, and we just cannot afford to let things be, we need to action,” says Phenyo Letong, Kimberley Zone Manager.
Eskom will be conducting meter audits in the area, and this entails checking if meters were by passed or tampered with. Often customers tamper with meters so that they either register no electricity used or only a fraction of the energy consumed. If we do find tampered meters, Eskom will disconnect immediately and issue tamper fine fees, and customers found to have tampered will only be reconnected when they have made payments.
We will also investigate ghost vending, which refers to the buying and selling of illegal electricity vouchers from illegal vendors. The money paid by customers through ghost vending does not go to Eskom for maintenance of networks, but to ghost vending syndicates. Ghost vending is the same as meter tampering, and customers who buy from illegal vendors are buying from criminals, and will therefore be issued with tamper fines.
Phenyo does however stress the importance of taking into consideration the plight of customers who are battling financially: “We will also educate customers about the availability of Free Basic Electricity (FBE), and how they can apply from their local municipality. Eskom cannot afford to keep the lights burning while millions of customers are not paying for the electricity they consume.”