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Hotels and betting shops out of luck as City Power move in

By Everson Luhanga

@ScrollaAfrica captured the dramatic moment City Power disconnected a Betfred betting store's power supply while dozens of punters were placing bets!

Two hotels, two blocks of flats and a sports betting business were among the buildings City Power disconnected on Tuesday in Johannesburg during a Revenue Collection spree.

Johannesburg Hotel owes City Power R9.9 million to the power utility, while Reef Hotel owes a whopping R13 million and betting company Betfred owes R3 million.

Scrolla.Africa captured the dramatic moment the lights went out at Betfred, to the surprise of all the punters in the building!

The two blocks of flats, meanwhile, were illegally connected before City Power pulled the plug on them.

The utility has embarked on a campaign of disconnecting electricity from non-paying clients and have said that they will not spare anyone in their pursuit to recoup the R2 billion it’s owed.

City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said one of the flats that had its power disconnected had illegally re-connected themselves after they were disconnected in November last year.

“City Power will continue with its Revenue Collection drive in the Joburg CBD to clamp down on defaulting customers and those illegally connected.

“The Inner-City Service Delivery Centre is owed in excess of R2 billion by customers,” said Mangena.

He said Tuesday’s operation targeted 5 customers owing a collective R24m.

“We will intensify our efforts, by rolling out these operations twice a month for the next twelve months across the City of Johannesburg’s eight Service Delivery Centres, with the aim of curbing the persistent culture of non-payment by restricting services to customers that refuse to pay.”

In recent weeks, City Power has disconnected the electricity of businesses including Spaza shops, salons, taverns, petrol stations, state schools and churches.

Even the old police station in Alexandra and the Nigerian consulate were not safe.

City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava said the entity’s overall debt stands at R4 billion, which can be used to meet the core objective of providing a reliable power supply, infrastructure maintenance, and procuring stock material.

“We urge customers to come to us and pay their debts or make arrangements before we go to them,” he said.

Pictured above: City Power worker literally cuts the power of a non-paying client.

Image source: Everson Luhanga

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